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What Causes Vomiting In An Elderly Person?

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Posted on Thu, 20 Oct 2016
Question: I am looking after my aunt who is 93 and she vomited brown liquid like soya sauce most of the night.
She refuses to go to hospital. She has stopped vomiting now but is weak. She refused food for a day before she started vomiting. She did not have a fever and her pulse was 95. What should I do? I am getting her to have sips of milk.
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Answered by Dr. Kathy Robinson (17 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
get her some omeprazole

Detailed Answer:
Hello,
It sounds like she is having some bleeding in the gastrointestinal system. I would get some omeprazole (Prilosec) and give her one of those twice a day. If she has an ulcer that could heal it up. Give her milk, honey and chicken soup. I would avoid the lemonade, but give her anything she is willing to take in that has some calories in it.
Please understand however that she really needs to be in the hospital and may die if she has a serious gastrointestinal bleed and does not get hospital care.
If she is prepared to die at home that is a valid choice at 93 but please let her know that that is what she is risking by not seeking emergency care.
Wishing her healing and you the courage to deal with her choices,
Dr. Robinson
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Kathy Robinson (44 minutes later)
I told her I thought it was blood and that she may die if she did not go to hospital but she said she did not want to go and would prefer to stay at home with her dogs.
Is it possible to have an ulcer with no pain? She said she had some discomfort just before the violent vomiting but no pain in the lead up to this event.
Is it likely to happen again or can this just be a one off?
Thank you for your help.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Kathy Robinson (9 hours later)
Brief Answer:
it is possible

Detailed Answer:
Hi and thanks for the follow up.
You are right ulcers usually cause pain but not always. There are other things that can bleed like a stomach cancer. If she really understands and refuses to go to the hospital then I would definitely get her on omeprazole 20 mg twice a day for 6 weeks. If it is an ulcer, this will heal it up. If it is some other cause of bleeding it will not do any good.
If she has a personal doctor then ask her if you can call them. They may be willing to do a home visit in a situation like this.
If it is an ulcer and you get her on the omeprazole it may not happen again. If the bleeding is from another cause it will probably recur.
I wish you the best.
Dr. Robinson
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Kathy Robinson

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1989

Answered : 3535 Questions

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What Causes Vomiting In An Elderly Person?

Brief Answer: get her some omeprazole Detailed Answer: Hello, It sounds like she is having some bleeding in the gastrointestinal system. I would get some omeprazole (Prilosec) and give her one of those twice a day. If she has an ulcer that could heal it up. Give her milk, honey and chicken soup. I would avoid the lemonade, but give her anything she is willing to take in that has some calories in it. Please understand however that she really needs to be in the hospital and may die if she has a serious gastrointestinal bleed and does not get hospital care. If she is prepared to die at home that is a valid choice at 93 but please let her know that that is what she is risking by not seeking emergency care. Wishing her healing and you the courage to deal with her choices, Dr. Robinson