False, or spasmodic croup, or mild acute laryngitis with spasm of the laryngeal muscles, is one of the every-day respiratory diseases of early childhood. It is seen at all times of the year, but is most prevalent in the changeable weather of autumn and in the early part of that season traditionally but improperly called spring.
Every general practitioner sees and treats it, and, when diagnosis is correct, prognosis is uniformly favorable, and treatment successful. Without correct diagnosis, prognosis is wavering, treatment is lame and the most uncomfortable person connected with the case, not even excepting the patient, is the medical attendant.
Discrimination is to be made between false croup and diphtheritic croup, between false and true or membranous croup, and sometimes between false croup and acute laryngitis without spasm, and between false croup and laryngismus stridulus. As true croup, laryngitis without spasm, and laryngismus stridulus are of infrequent occurrence.