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Case Reports in Emergency Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 125043, 3 pages
Case Report

Critical Pertussis in a Young Infant Requiring Mechanical Ventilation

Department of Child Health, Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Padjadjaran, Hasan Sadikin General Hospital, Pasteur 38, Bandung, West Java 40161, Indonesia

Received 13 March 2013; Accepted 9 April 2013

Academic Editors: L. Bojić, A. K. Exadaktylos, P. Iannone, K. Imanaka, and H. P. Wu

Copyright © 2013 Heda Melinda Nataprawira et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Pertussis may likely be misdiagnosed in its initial or catarrhal phase as a common respiratory infection. The earlier diagnosis of pertussis really depends on the capability of the medical professional especially in the first line public health services. The lack of awareness in diagnosis of severe pertussis as one of the causes of severe respiratory problems may likely misdiagnose pertussis as respiratory failure or even septic shock. In fact, pertussis may manifest as a critical pertussis which can be fatal due to the respiratory failure that require pediatric intensive care unit using mechanical ventilation. We reported a confirmed pertussis case of a 7-weeks-old female infant referred to our tertiary hospital with gasping leading to respiratory failure and septic shock requiring mechanical ventilation, aggressive fluid therapy, and antibiotics. Pertussis was diagnosed late during the course of illness when the patient was hospitalized. Improvement was noted after administering macrolide which gave a good response. Bordetella pertussis isolation from Bordet-Gengou media culture yielded positive result.