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Child started vomiting brown smelly stuff. Underlying cause?

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Practicing since : 1998
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my son has been throwing up since 1 pm (9 times so far) he just throw up some brown smelly stuff
Posted Mon, 18 Mar 2013 in Infections
Answered by Dr. Y V Siva Sankara Murty 25 minutes later

Thanks for writing to health care magic.

Most common cause of vomiting is gastroenteritis...... in this vomiting are normally followed by loose motions. Other causes include food poisoning, meningitis, intestinal obstruction etc

Normally in a child who is vomiting there are few things to be observed.

Does he have any signs of dehydration? To judge these the following things will help.
1. A child with dehydration will have increased thirst.
2. Eyes will be sunken.
3. There will be decreased frequency of passing urine.
4. Skin turgor will decrease. This can be observed by pinching the skin over the abdomen and looking how fast it goes back. Normally it goes back in no time.
5. Oral mucosa will be dry in dehydration.
6. How is his consciousness. Is he alert or not.

So if your child is not having any of the above we can rule out dehydration in him. Please check for them and reply.

I require further details to answer your question better.

Does he have any loose motions or fever?
Does he complain of pain abdomen?
Is there any distension of abdomen?
Is the vomiting projectile or not? Does it come out with force?
Is the child on any medication like pain killers etc? (Gastritis could be caused by some of the analgesics like ibuprofen etc)
Does he complain of severe head ache?
Did he have any thing to eat out side? Did any member of the family or any body who consumed the same are having the same problems?

Normally we prescribe antiemetics to our patients with vomiting after ruling out various serious disorders like intestinal obstruction, meningitis, etc.

We assess the hydration status of the child from the initial questions i asked and further examination.......
Then we rehydrate the child.... in some cases simple oral rehydration solution suffices. Normally we give small sips of oral rehydration solution (any large quantity may be vomited by the child immediately) after 45 min or so of antiemetic. If the vomiting are uncontrolled and nothing could be given by mouth then we start intravenous fluids.

Hope this helps.
Wishing speedy recovery of your son.
Take care.

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