When Should You Go To The Doctor For Vomiting?

Though nausea and raleigh vomiting are common, and often go away on their own without professional care fairly quickly, there are times when nausea and vomiting require professional medical attention. For example, if nausea has persisted for more than a week, medical attention is recommended.

And, as is common with nausea, vomiting often subsides over a six to twenty-four time period, and can be eased or treated at home. However, medical attention is definitely recommended if vomiting does not lessen in a six to twenty-four hour time period, if dehydration is suspected, or if a head injury or infection is the the known cause of the vomiting.

For infants and children that are under six years of age, who are susceptible to more serious effects from nausea and vomiting it is important to seek medical attention for any of the following:

  • If vomiting persists for more than just a few hours
  • If diarrhea is also occurring
  • If there are any signs of dehydration
  • If there is a fever above 100 degrees (F)
  • If there have been no urination six hours or more

For children over the age of six seek professional medical care for any of the following:

  • If vomiting persists over an entire day
  • If diarrhea is also occurring with the vomiting and persists for over twenty-four hours.
  • If there are any signs of dehydration
  • If there is a fever over 102 degrees (F)
  • If there has been no urination for six hours or more

Adults should confer with a doctor for any of the following:

  • If vomiting persists for longer than one full day
  • If diarrhea and vomiting persist for over twenty-four hours
  • If there are any signs of moderate (or more severe) dehydration

Immediate medical attention is recommended for any of the following

  • If blood is seen in the vomit (the blood will have a “coffee grounds appearance” )
  • If there is any kind of severe headache accompanying the vomiting or nausea
  • If there is any lethargy in addition to the vomiting and/or nausea
  • If there is confusion
  • If there is a noticeable decrease in alertness
  • If there is severe abdominal pain
  • If there is vomiting with a fever of above 101 degrees (F)
  • If both vomiting and diarrhea are occurring
  • If there is rapid breathing or a rapid pulse

Can complications persist after prolonged nausea or vomiting?

The biggest concern with prolonged vomiting and nausea (especially combined with diarrhea) is dehydration. Dehydration can have various effects on different body systems. Sometimes, especially for children or infants, dehydration from prolonged vomiting and/or diarrhea can become severe, which can lead to various complications. In this case sometimes treatments that are more aggressive are needed for full healing.

As always, if you or your family member are experiencing, or have recently experienced, nausea and/or vomiting with diarrhea and have any questions or major concerns, please consult with a doctor, physician’s assistant, or other trusted medical professional.

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