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When to go to ER with stomach virus? *WE'RE GOING BACK POST 23*

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
DD has her first stomach virus.

I'm worried she's dehydrated. She started vomiting on Thurs. night. She kept down one nursing Fri. around 3:30am, and then kept down a nursing Sat. around 3:30am. Other than that, everything has been coming out one end or the other.

She nursed around 11:30 this morning, and DH is trying to get her down for a nap right now--she seems to keep it down when she's sleeping.

When would you take your LO to the hospital, presumably for an iv? A complicating factor here is that it's snowing, and by late this afternoon/early evening we will probably be snowed in and getting to the hospital will be extremely difficult.
post #2 of 34
Is she urinating? Is her mouth moist? Is she lethargic?

My DD has gone to the ER twice for an uncontrollable stomach virus. Both times she was lethargic - could barely keep her head up and was dazed. The first time she was still in diapers and had gone 12 hours without wetting a diaper and her mouth was dry - she was moderately dehydrated and needed an IV. The second time she had gone all day without peeing and was vomiting up any drop of liquid she ingested but, they gave her medicine which stopped the vomiting and she was able to keep fluids down.

Both times she was prescribed phenegran and it immediately stopped the vomiting so she could keep fluids down.

Honestly, if there was a chance I would be snowed in and unable to get my child emergency care, I would go immediately. Or, if vomiting is the problem, I would see if my pediatrician would write a prescription for phenegran and skip the whole ER thing all together (this is assuming she's not so dehydrated she needs an IV). Anytime we've had a stomach virus with vomiting, phenegran works like a charm.
post #3 of 34
Thread Starter 
Thanks for writing back so fast.
She has urinated a/b 1x every 12 hrs. or so. It's hard to tell b/c I switched to sposies for the diarrhea.

Her mouth is moist, but she is definitely lethargic. I think I'll give the dr. a call this afternoon.
post #4 of 34
I would call and see if the Dr will just give you a phenegran prescription. If that doesn't work, I would take her in. Thinking about you guys! I know stomach viruses are so hard
post #5 of 34
Lethargic, not peeing call your Doc or take to the ER. She may need IV fluids.

post #6 of 34
ER right away. Lethargy is the scariest symptom to see - it indicates late-stage dehydration.

How is she doing now?
post #7 of 34
Originally Posted by amcal View Post
Honestly, if there was a chance I would be snowed in and unable to get my child emergency care, I would go immediately.
This. DS had a nasty stomach bug a few years ago (I think he was 1 or 2?). We all had it, but ds had it the worst. Anything that went in his mouth came right back up or out the bottom. He wasn't peeing at all (that I could tell.... but every diaper was a poopy one so it's hard to know for sure), eyes were slightly sunken in, mouth was dry, no tears were forming and he wasn't lethargic. That one got him an ER stay for IV fluids. Which was not fun considering I had the same nasty bug and, being a single mom, was the only one to go to the ER with him
post #8 of 34
Thread Starter 
We went.
We just got home.
Thanks for all the good wishes.

It definitely sucked, but it was also the right thing to do. She got a bag and a half of fluids, and definitely woke up. She got crankier as the night went on, though, which was frustrating--we would have loved to see her become more of herself, and I can't say she did.

Also, they gave her an anti-nausea medication in the iv bag, and she had a slight allergic reaction to that--puffy lips and a spotty forehead--so then they gave her Benedryl, which made her lethargic again. :

Sigh. Here's hoping tomorrow will be better. Thanks again.
post #9 of 34
Is she sleeping now?
post #10 of 34
Thread Starter 
Yup--she's in her crib while I relax a bit. I also needed to eat a massive amount of food, since I'm planning on letting her nurse all.night.long.
post #11 of 34
Thread Starter 

It's not getting any better. She seems to vomit every time she has a big nursing, but I'm not sure how not to let her do that. I think I'm going to start pumping before she nurses, then let her comfort nurse.

We're forcing her to drink 1Tbs. of Pedialyte every 15 min.

Could this be something bacterial? They didn't do a feces test in the ER--should we page the dr. again and ask her to order one? Or go to the walk-in place again? At this rate, I'm 100% sure we're going to end up in the ER again today.

I'm nearing the end of my rope here. She hasn't kept anything down since Thurs. She's noticeably thinner. She's possibly lethargic again.
post #12 of 34
Could you pump and give BM in small increments every few minutes, then let her comfort suck? The antibodies in the BM might be helpful in getting over this, whatever it is.

I forgot to check how old your LO is before I started writing. But in any case, I think a child who hasn't been able to keep anything down for 3 days is past the point of "normal" stomach bug. If it were me, I would find someone to address this ASAP. Do you have a primary doc you could reach through exchange, or is the ER doc you were thinking of paging? Or, if you are not able to reach someone by phone I would take her back in.

GL, Mama! Thinking of you.
post #13 of 34
I would definitely call the Dr back at least. They may be able to help you over the phone before you go back or they may suggest you come in. But since they just saw her, I would bet they will at least talk to you on the phone.

I read somewhere (in The Baby Book, I think), that all it takes is 20min for your baby to absorb some of your milk. So if she keeps it down for even 20min, it is helping. My dd has had some scary vomiting episodes too, but it's never lasted as long as you're describing. Good luck. I know how hard it is.
post #14 of 34
Thread Starter 
I do think I'm ready to start being more aggressive w/the dr.'s. I'm angry too b/c although I asked several times, "Is she only getting saline?" they gave her anti-nausea meds in the first bag of fluids, and our dr. (very natural-minded) had told us not to allow that. The hospital staff flat-out lied. They will be getting a letter, but first my DD needs to be taken care of.

I'm going to pump, and start giving her the empty side to comfort suck and get whatever she can get. Her poops are starting to look less like diarrhea and more like bf baby poop, so I'm hoping she's getting some protein at least.

The Pedialyte is so gross. It's killing me to force her to drink it.
post #15 of 34
First of all ,remember that if she nurses, then vomits 5 minutes later, chances are that she's absorbed a little bit of fluid before it comes back up. The nurse/vomit cycle prevents dehydration better than the "nothing at all by mouth" method.

Secondly, pumping will help in two ways. First of all, she'll have an "emptier" breast to comfort nurse on, giving her smaller quantities of breastmilk in her tummy at once and reduce the chance of vomiting. Secondly, you can used the pumped milk in place of the pedialyte for feeding her a tablspoon every 15 minutes.

If you're able to keep her hydrated, you may not need to take her in anywhere. Definitely keep in contact with her dr over the phone, but I'd be very hesitant to take her into the ER again after what happened yesterday.
post #16 of 34
In times like these, I use a syringe.
10 mins after a vomit, i syringe 2ml of fluid(i dont use pedialyte i use whatever the child drinks but thats me that is not a dr opinion)
if they keep that down, in 15 minutes i syringe 5ml of fluid. and slowly build it up.
if they vomit the 2ml, i repeat the process again. they are at least absorbing SOME of the fluid. my son usually has water in his syringe, with a little sugar added in.
my son will now just lick ice cubes instead of syringed.
it sounds like maybe she has rotovirus, which can last for up to 10 days at worst.
post #17 of 34
If you're pumping your milk- use that instead of pedialite! A thousand times better!

hope she feels better soon.

post #18 of 34
I would get some S.boulardii and lactobacillis and bifidum bacteria probiotics for her. Give the probiotics on your finger or in pumped milk, or diluted in a sippy dropper. Give about hourly, until the vomiting ceases.

I'd only give the breastmilk, not pedialyte.

You might try some small bites of toast, or bone broth, or coconut water. All are settling for the stomach. Just *sips*. They are high in electrolytes.
Here are two links to info on the many health benefits of coconut water:



I heard it is best served chilled.

We do homeopathic remedies for any acute issues. Consider her whole picture: fever?, lethargy? thirst? color? diarrhea? discomfort? blood? projectile? voiding? etc.

Here are some homeopathic alternatives:

You also might try some vit C, like Emergen-C in sips. And some Epsom salt baths for the detox effect.

Also, ginger and fennel and chamomile are helpful for settling stomachs, herbally. This could be sips of a tea. Gripe Water or Tum-ease are just ginger and fennel extracts.

If she is lethargic, not voiding, or mucus membranes are dull, pale or dry, she needs more IV fluids, electrolytes, and something for the vomiting. They can give a suppository medication also. Did you get the name of the anti-nausea medication? You need to know it!

post #19 of 34
Thread Starter 
Thanks, everyone.
I was mostly giving Pedialyte b/c I can't really pump--never have been able to. I tried this morning, but got nothing again. So I've been nursing more frequently, but cutting her off after 2-3 minutes. The Pedialyte was out of desperation.

Also, my parents came over this morning and inexplicably got her to drink half a carton of apple juice and eat 2 ginger snaps--this is a kid who hasn't voluntarily put anything near her mouth since Thursday. Grandparents are amazing.

She seems better, all of a sudden. I'm cautiously optimistic.

I did get the name of the anti-nausea medication. I paged our ped this morning, and she was appalled that they gave it to her--she seems to think that some of her symptoms could be caused by that. She's going to contact the ER, and I will also write a letter.

It's very upsetting to think that when my child needed emergency medicine (and she absolutely needed the iv yesterday), we ended up finding out how untrustworthy some doctors are. I do like the security of knowing the hospital is there when we need it, but if they're going to pull crap like this, what's the point?!?
post #20 of 34
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
If you're pumping your milk- use that instead of pedialite! A thousand times better!

hope she feels better soon.


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