a. Cough is a reflex that is intended to expel an irritant that has entered in respiratory airways.
b. However act of coughing demands ability to increase adequate pressure in airways and hence infant often fails to remove an irritant in spite of attempt of coughing.
c. Similarly thick secretions in airways may not be easily expelled even after violent cough.
d. Irritant may be in the form of infection, aspiration or environmental pollution.
e. That is the reason why cough is often persistent or recurrent.
f. Detailed history alone can help in proper diagnosis while tests have limitations. “Cough syrups” rarely alleviate cough unless irritant is removed and hence it is a challenge.
Dr Yeshwant Amdekar is one of the senior most practicing pediatricians in India having been in paediatric practice for last 47 years. He served as a teacher at Grant Medical College for 30 years and retired as a professor of Pediatrics in the year 2000. He has taught an entire generation of paediatricians and continues to do so even today.
He is presently Medical Director of the B.J.Wadia Hospital for children which is Mumbai's only dedicated and largest children's hospital. He was President of the Indian Academy of Pediatrics in the year 1995 and has served the academy in various positions. He has also authored four books and has contributed articles in indexed journals and chapters in textbooks. He has been a recipient of many prestigious orations.
Dr Amdekar has been a great source of encouragement to young paediatricians as well as development of paediatric sub-specialities including paediatric hepatology.