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What's Your Diagnosis?

Your Vomiting Baby


Updated November 16, 2003

Because your baby has had projectile vomiting for several days that has been worsening, you decide to go to the emergency room at your local Children's Hospital.

Upon your arrival, because of his decreased urine output, dry mouth, and sunken fontanelle, they feel that he is dehydrated and he is seen right away.

They decide to not let him eat anymore (NPO) and start intravenous fluids while they try to figure out what is wrong.

They ask you several more questions, including:

  • Is he just spitting up nonforcefully or is it real, forceful, projectile vomiting?
  • When he vomits, does it just look like breastmilk or is it dark green (bilious emesis)?
  • Has he been vomiting since birth, or is this a new thing?
  • Is he having bloody diarrhea?
  • Has anyone else at home had vomiting or diarrhea?
  • Do you feel like you have a good supply of breastmilk and is he latching on and sucking well?
You answer that no, no one else has been sick, he doesn't have diarrhea or dark green vomiting, and that he does have projectile vomiting. You state that you also feel like he has been breastfeeding well and that you have a good supply of breastmilk.

The doctors say something about not feeling an olive, but that they are pretty sure that they know what is wrong. They order a test to confirm the diagnosis.

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