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American College of Chest Physicians Cough Guidelines for Children: Can Its Use Improve Outcomes?

Anne B. Chang, PhD
Author and Funding Information

Correspondence to: Anne B. Chang, PhD, Queensland Children's Respiratory Centre, Royal Children's Hospital, Herston Rd, Herston, Brisbane, QLD 4029, Australia; e-mail: annechang@ausdoctors.net

Professor Chang is Head of Child Health, Menzies, Charles Darwin University.

Professor Chang is supported by the Royal Children's Hospital Foundation, Australian National Health and Medical Research Council and Queensland Clinical Research Fellowships.


The author has no financial conflicts of interest exist to disclose.

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians (www.chestjournal.org/misc/reprints.shtml).


Chest. 2008;134(6):1111-1112. doi:10.1378/chest.08-2001
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Extract

There are many reasons why timely and good clinical management of cough are important. While to some the symptom of cough may be viewed as “it's just a cough,” its presence may be indicative of an underlying serious disorder and ignoring it may lead to disease progression. Thus, in the evaluation of children with chronic cough, defining those who require further investigations and/or treatment from those who do not is a key management point. Moreover, irrespective of the etiology, the symptom of chronic cough is associated with significant morbidity to parents and children.1 In an attempt to ameliorate these effects of cough, it is unsurprising that the expenditure on medications for cough are substantial and cough is the most common symptom presenting to primary care in many countries.2 In the United States, 29.5 million doctor visits per year are for cough.3 While most of these consultations are likely for acute cough, a significant number would be for chronic cough. Indeed, > 80% of children presenting to a respiratory clinic in Australia had consulted doctors five or more times for their cough.1

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