In a previous episode of The Doctors, pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears explained the dangers of croup, a potentially life-threatening illness that produces a distinct cough, which sounds similar to a barking seal.
Croup, an inflammation of the vocal cords, is a respiratory infection often caused by the parainfluenza virus. It often develops several days after the onset of a cold, and the infection manifests in the bronchial tubes, vocal cords and windpipe.
A croup cough is usually accompanied by a stridor, or wheeze, which sounds like a high-pitched, almost musical sound when a person inhales. Teens, adults and children can all get croup, but it is more common in children. Croup can become dangerous quickly if the vocal cords swell to the point where the child can’t breathe, so make sure to call your physician immediately.
After watching the episode, Allyson from Gardnerville, Nevada, recognized the sound of croup in her 9-month-old son. She took him to the ER and he went into respiratory failure shortly after, requiring intubation and sedation before fully recovering.
Allyson writes: If we weren’t at the hospital already, we may have had a much more traumatic result. I just want to thank you for your show. You helped us save our child’s life.
Allyson and her son, Jake, surprise The Doctors by joining them on stage, to thank them in person.