PedsCases - A Learning Module of Acute Stridor for Medical Students

Publication ID Published Volume
8276 March 14, 2011 7


PedsCases ( is a comprehensive web-based educational tool that focuses on the core objectives of undergraduate pediatric education with extensive student involvement. PedsCases was created for and by medical students that provides an opportunity for active self-directed learning in pediatrics. The learning modalities available include questions, flash-card type quizzes, multi-step clinical cases and podcasts.

This learning module includes a podcast and three cases that review the common causes of acute stridor in children, as well as the pathophysiology and treatment of those causes for medical students. The podcast includes the following topics: foreign body inhalation, anaphylaxis, epiglottitis, croup, and bacterial tracheitis. A script of the podcast has also been included. In addition to the podcast and script, the module includes cases discussing croup, epiglottitis, and bacterial tracheitis. Each case begins with the initial presentation of a child with stridor. The student is required to answer multiple-choice questions that focus on establishing a differential diagnosis, confirming the diagnosis, and listing a management plan for the specific cause of the stridor. The correct answer for each question is explained once the question has been answered. By working first through the podcast, then through the cases, the student will have the ability to recognize some of the acute causes of stridor and the initial management plan.

PedsCases has been integrated into the third year undergraduate pediatric medical education curriculum at the University of Alberta. It is one of the main sources recommended to students to assist in covering the core objectives of the clinical pediatric rotation and to assist in preparing for the final examinations. Since the focus of medical education has shifted towards independent learning, PedsCases has become a complementary educational tool and has filled a niche.

The Department of Pediatrics at the University of Alberta and the Division of Studies of Medical Education has committed to PedsCases as a recommended reference for future medical students. Currently, there are 9 student question writers and 15 pediatrician moderators involved. The staff involvement ranges from moderating and reviewing questions, to writing and creating podcasts to filming procedural videos.

PedsCases is one of the top 5 references returned by Internet search engines (including Google, and MSN) for the term "pediatric cases for medical students." PedsCases is posted as a recommended resource at the Canadian Healthcare Education Commons (CHEC), the PICUinfo Pediatric Critical Care Library, the Lincoln Memorial University Library website and the Distributed Medical Education Blog at Dalhousie University.

The number of visitors to PedsCases has grown steadily since its inception in spring 2008. Currently, PedsCases contains 216 questions, 40 clinical cases, 11 flash-card styled quizzes, 11 podcasts, 2 clinical videos and numerous links to other resources. These resources have been used in 96 different countries and there has been over 10,000 downloads of the available podcasts.


Gerdung C, Lewis M, Duff J, Graham T, Grewal S. PedsCases - a learning module of acute stridor for medical students. MedEdPORTAL Publications. 2011;7:8276.

Contains time-sensitive information that will likely be inaccurate, obsolete, or irrelevant by June 07, 2013

Educational Objectives

  1. To develop an approach to evaluating a child with acute stridor.
  2. To develop a differential diagnosis to a child with acute stridor.
  3. To understand the appropriate investigations to order when evaluating a child with acute stridor. Students will learn this by completing the podcast and completing the respective cases.
  4. To be able to rule out the life-threatening causes of acute stridor from the benign causes after reviewing the podcast.
  5. To understand the treatment of foreign body inhalation after reviewing the stridor podcast.
  6. To understand the treatment of croup, epiglottitis, and bacterial tracheitis following completion of the respective cases. Students are expected to correctly answer the case steps and review the given explanation.


  • Stridor, PedsCases, Bacterial Tracheitis, Epiglottitis, Croup, Foreign Body Inhalation, Anaphylaxis, Airway Obstruction

Prior Scholarly Dissemination


  1. Gill P, Kitney L, Kozan D, Lewis M. Online Learning in Pediatrics: A Student Led Web-Based Learning Modality. The Clinical Teacher. 2010 Mar;7(1):53-57.
  2. Kitney L, Gill P, Lewis M, Leslie K, Steinegger C, PedsCases - A Learning Module for Adolescent Medicine for Medical Students. MedEdPORTAL; 2010. Available from:
  3. Gill P, MacPherson P, LeBlanc C, Ellsworth J, PedsCases - A Learning Module for Evaluation of a Pediatric Limp for Medical Students. MedEdPORTAL; 2010. Available from:
  4. Gill PJ, Kitney L, Vanderpluym J, Kozan D, Lewis M.(2009) PedsCases: A Collaborative Pediatric Medical Education Website for Medical Students. Poster presentation at Canadian Conference for Medical Education (CCME), poster number P-85. Edmonton, AB, Canada.
  5. Gill PJ, Kitney L, Vanderpluym J, Kozan D, Lewis M.(2008) PedsCases: A Collaborative Pediatric Medical Education Website for Medical Students. Poster presentation at Women and Children┬┐s Health Research Institute (WCHRI) Research Day 2008, abstract ID #1983, Edmonton, AB, Canada. Sponsorship (Funding Source): Department of Pediatrics University of Alberta

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ISSN 2374-8265