Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Risk Factors Symptoms Evaluation Treatment questions for doctor specialist Home Care pain and fever adults pain and fever children vomiting warning signs Outlook Complications Underlying Cause Anatomy

Pneumonia Aspiration Vomiting

Home care for vomiting in adults with aspiration pneumonia:

  • Drink clear liquids only, such as water, sports drinks, fruit juice and dilute tea. Sports drinks are best. The absence of food allows the intestines to rest.
  • Drink small quantities of fluids frequently. In general, two tablespoons of fluid every 5 minutes is an effective strategy.
  • Avoid milk and dairy products for 3 days.
  • Avoid liquids that irritate the stomach, such as citrus juice, alcohol and coffee.
  • If nausea or vomiting continues despite the above, consider one of the nonprescription medicines listed below.
  • Once vomiting and nausea resolves, start bland foods first. If you tolerate bland food, then you can resume a normal diet.

Nonprescription medications for vomiting include:

Home treatment of vomiting in children includes hydration and dietary therapy. Those who are able to drink liquids can restore lost water and salt with oral rehydration therapy (ORT).

ORT fluids used in infants include:
  • Infalyte
  • Lytren
  • Naturalyte
  • Pedialyte
  • Rehydralyte
  • ReVital
  • Generic drugstore brands

ORT fluids used in older children include:
  • Sports drinks (Gatorade)
  • Broth
  • Dilute fruit juices
  • Flat soda
  • Weak tea with sugar

Strategies for breast-fed infants younger than 6 months:
  • If the infant tolerates breast milk, continue breast-feeding in small amounts very frequently.
  • Provide additional ORT fluids to supplement breast milk.
  • Feed very small amounts every 30-60 minutes, or provide 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon (5-15 cc) of ORT every 3 to 10 minutes. If vomiting returns, wait one hour and start over. Call your doctor if your infant continues to vomit.
  • Watch for dehydration: dry mouth, decreased urination, dark yellow urine and lack of tears.

Strategies for formula-fed infants younger than 6 months:
  • If the infant tolerates formula, continue to provide small amounts very frequently.
  • Provide additional ORT fluids to formula.
  • Feed very small amounts every 30-60 minutes, or provide 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon (5-15 cc) of ORT every 3 to 10 minutes. If vomiting returns, wait one hour and start over. Call your doctor if your infant continues to vomit.
  • Watch for dehydration: dry mouth, decreased urination, dark yellow urine and lack of tears.

Strategies for children over 6 months:
  • Provide as much ORT fluids as your child desires.
  • If vomiting occurs, provide small amounts of ORT fluids more frequently:
    • Children up to 5 kg (11 lb): 5 ml (1 teaspoon) every 5 minutes
    • Children 5-10 kg (11-22 lb): 10 ml (2 teaspoons) every 5 minutes
    • Children 10-20 kg (22-44 lb): 15 ml (1 Tablespoon) every 5 minutes
    • Children 20-40 kg (44-88 lb): 22 ml (1 and 1/2 Tablespoons) every 5 minutes
    • Children 40 kg (88 lb) and over: 30 ml (2 Tablespoons) every 5 minutes
  • Watch for dehydration: dry mouth, decreased urination, dark yellow urine and lack of tears.

Dietary Therapy
Most children with vomiting improve in a few hours and symptoms usually resolve in one day. Once vomiting and nausea resolves, provide bland foods first. If bland foods are tolerated, then you resume a normal diet.

Foods that are easiest to tolerate include:
  • Crackers
  • Oatmeal
  • Jell-O
  • Soft foods
  • Yogurt

Foods to avoid include:
  • Concentrated fruit juices
  • Junk foods
  • Milk products
  • Recently introduced foods
  • Spicy foods

Vomiting Medications
Nonprescription medicines for vomiting should only be used under the direction of your doctor.

Continue to Pneumonia Aspiration Warning Signs

Last Updated: Nov 17, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Pneumonia Aspiration References
  1. Bynum LJ, Pierce AK: Pulmonary aspiration of gastric contents. Am Rev Respir Dis 1976 Dec; 114(6): 1129-36. [1008348]
  2. Huxley EJ, et al: Pharyngeal aspiration in normal adults and patients with depressed consciousness. Am J Med 1978 Apr; 64(4): 564-8. [645722]
  3. Matthay MA, Rosen GD: Acid aspiration induced lung injury. New insights and therapeutic options. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 1996 Aug; 154: 277-8. [8756794]
  4. Shigemitsu H, Afshar K. Aspiration pneumonias: under-diagnosed and under-treated. Curr Opin Pulm Med. 2007 May;13(3):192-8. [17414126]
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