Lightning Learning: Viral Gastroenteritis
Viral gastroenteritis is a commonly seen illness which includes symptoms of vomiting and diarrhoea. It can also be accompanied by fever.
Accounts for up to 16% of all admissions to Children’s Emergency Departments. The average child can have up to 2 incidents per year. Most cases can be managed at home.
Normally spread via the faecal-oral route, and commonly a viral cause. Common pathogens include: Rotavirus, Adenovirus, Bacterial/Protozoa, Salmonella, Cryptosporidium.
Antidiarrheals and antiemetics are not recommended.
Diagnosis is made through history and clinical examination. Children often present as systemically well.
Start with a rapid A-E assessment to identify red flags 🚩
Is the child shocked?
Are they clinically dehydrated?
Are they irritable/lethargic?
Do they have sunken eyes?
Is there tachycardia, tachypnoea, or reduced skin turgor?
If not unwell, use oral rehydration solution (50ml/kg over 4 hours + maintenance).
If unwell or not tolerating ORS consider IVI of Isotonic fluid (0.9% NACL + Glucose 5%).