Tracheitis is a bacterial infection of the windpipe (trachea).
Bacterial tracheitis; Acute bacterial tracheitis
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Bacterial tracheitis is most often caused by the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus. It often follows a recent
cough(similar to that caused by croup)
High-pitched breathing sound (
Signs and tests
The health care provider will perform a physical exam and listen to the child’s lungs. The muscles between the ribs may pull in as the child tries to breathe. This is called
Tests that may be done to diagnose this condition include:
- Blood oxygen level
Nasopharyngeal cultureto look for bacteria
- Tracheal culture to look for bacteria
X-rayof the trachea
The child often needs to have a tube placed into the airways to help with breathing. This is called an endotracheal tube.
The child will receive antibiotics through a vein. The health care team will closely monitor the child’s breathing and use oxygen, if needed.
With prompt treatment, the child should recover.
Airway obstruction— can lead to death Toxic shock syndrome— if caused by the bacteria Staphylococcus
Calling your health care provider
Tracheitis is an emergency medical condition. Go to the emergency room right away if your child has had a recent upper respiratory infection and suddenly has a high fever, a cough that gets worse, or trouble breathing.