CHILDREN WITH CHRONIC COUGH

Definition

Cough lasting 14 days or more

Clinical features

General signs include

  • Fever
  • Poor weight gain
  • Weight loss.

Other features depend on the specific cause.

The following conditions are associated with chronic cough

  • Tuberculosis
  • Asthma
  • Foreign body aspiration, usually children under 5 years: Parents may not remember history of choking. Unilateral wheeze, or pneumonia with poor response to antibiotics suggests diagnosis.
  • HIV infection: In addition, these children have chronic chest signs with clubbing of fingers and toes but usually no cyanosis.
  • Bronchiectasis: Purulent sputum, bad breath, finger clubbing.
  • Lung abscess: Reduced breath sounds over affected part.
  • Heart disease: Either due to congestive failure or recurrent pneumonias.

Investigations

  • HIV test
  • Mantoux test
  • Chest x-ray

Management

Management is specific to the underlying disease. Refer/consult as needed.