Nausea & Viruses – When Should We Call the Dr?

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2007
Mar 13

It can be difficult at times to know when a bout of nausea or a touch of a virus is serious enough to call a doctor. On the one hand, most nausea is temporary and will pass, and is generally not a sign of a more serious problem. On the other hand, waiting too long to call a doctor if there is something that is seriously wrong can certainly be dangerous.

There are several circumstances in which you should definitely call the doctor due to nausea and/or symptoms of a flu or flu-like virus. If you have any trouble breathing, you should probably call the doctor. If you have a history of heart problems and/or if you experience any chest pains or other signs of heart attack, you should also call the Dr. If you are undergoing chemotherapy treatments and have flu-like symptoms, you should call the dr. because your immune system may be compromised, and you may have difficulty fighting off the virus.

For children, it can be harder to know when to call the Dr. Most children will become nauseous at some time or another. In fact, children under the age of five are likely to have a cold or a virus around seven times each year. Often these illnesses will also be accompanied by nausea. In addition, children are often prone to other causes of nausea, such as motion sickness.

Age plays an important factor in whether or not to call the Dr. when your child has nausea or a virus. The requirements for infants and younger children, for example, are different than they are for older children. If you have a very young baby, under the age of three months, you should contact a Dr if she is vomiting (beyond the normal spitting-up that babies are famous for). If your baby also has a fever of 100.4 or higher, and has a cough or diarrhea, you should contact your Dr immediately.
For older children, the requirements are different. If your child is six years old or younger and his nausea lasts more than a few hours he should be checked by a Dr. If he also has signs of dehydration, such as diarrhea, you should contact a Dr. If he has a fever over 101 degrees, he should be check by a Dr.

If your child is older than six years old, there are also times you should have her checked by a Dr for his nausea. If she has vomiting and diarrhea for more than 1 day, you should have her checked by a Dr. Also, if her fever is over 102 degrees, you should have her checked by a Dr. As with infants and younger children, if there are signs of dehydration you should have her checked by a Dr.

If any of the following occur, you should take your nauseous child of any age to a Dr in the emergency room: blood in the vomit, a severe headache, lethargy, confusion or decreased attentiveness, severe pain in the abdomen, or rapid breathing or pulse. These symptoms can indicate a more serious problem, and require immediate attention.