Vomiting, Pediatric

Vomiting, Pediatric is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Emergency Consult.

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  • Forceful, coordinated act of expelling gastric contents through the mouth; characterized by nausea, retching, and emesis; no gastriccontents are expelled during retching.
  • Emesis results from sustained contraction of abdominal muscles and diaphragm; at the same time, the pylorus and antrum contract.


  • GI/mechanical: Gastroesophageal reflux (GER), meconium ileus, necrotizing enterocolitis, hypertrophic pyloric stenosis, intussusception, malrotation with midgut volvulus, Hirschsprung disease, congenital obstructions (atresias, stenoses, and webs), hernia, foreign body/bezoar, pancreatitis, appendicitis, paralytic ileus
  • Metabolic/endocrine: Inborn errors of metabolism (amino acidurias, fatty acid oxidation disorders, urea cycle defects), uremia, diabetic ketoacidosis, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, kernicterus
  • Neurologic: CNS bleeding (often due to trauma), tumor, hydrocephalus
  • Infectious: Otitis media, UTI, pneumonia, sepsis, gastroenteritis, meningitis/encephalitis
  • Feeding problems: Chalasia, improper technique (overfeeding, improper position), milk allergy
  • Other: Toxicologic, nonaccidental trauma, pregnancy

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