Lightning Learning: Viral Gastroenteritis

Lightning Learning: Viral Gastroenteritis

“Viral gastroenteritis symptoms include vomiting, diarrhoea and fever; and accounts for up to 16% of all paediatric emergency admissions.”
— advice is based on local guidelines & procedures

What?

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.

Why?

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%).

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