My Baby's Vomit is Green!

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If your baby vomits green, please see a doctor immediately.

As a parent, you will definitely see your fair share of vomit as your kids are growing up. Generally vomiting is usually no cause for alarm, but in some cases it can signal a problem.

Doctors commonly get worried parents wondering if they need to take their baby in for a checkup when going through a bout of vomiting. As disgusting as vomiting sounds, it’s actually a good thing. Vomiting is a way to rid the body of toxins, and pressure.

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What are the Common Vomiting Causes?

  • reflux or too full
  • food allergy
  • car sickness
  • indigestion
  • prolonged crying
  • coughing
  • infection
  • or to more sinister surgical problems, such as an intestinal obstruction that requires immediate surgical attention.
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A round of vomiting should generally subside 6 hours to 24 hours after it starts. Your baby shouldn’t need any particular treatment, apart from drinking plenty to ensure he stays hydrated. As long as your baby is still active, and has a healthy weight, there’s usually no need to worry. But if something feels amiss, call your doctor for peace of mind.

Bilious Vomit Red Flag

Or in simple terms: green coloured vomit. Green coloured vomit contains bile produced by the liver that passes into the the duodenum. This could be a possible warning for varying surgical emergencies. But out of all the possible conditions, the most serious is malrotation with volvulus (twisting), which needs immediate surgical attention. A delay in diagnosis and management may result in the baby’s death.

Malrotation is twisting of the intestines (or bowel) caused by abnormal development while a fetus is in utero. It can cause intestinal obstruction of the digestive tract that prevents the proper passage of food. Malrotation occurs when the intestines don’t position themselves normally during fetal development and aren’t attached inside properly as a result.

malrotation voluvus My Baby's Vomit is Green!

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A complication of such malrotation is a twisting of the entire small gut (volvulus), which results in little or no blood supply to it. This, in turn, causes the small bowel to die in part or in its entirety.

Babies would suddenly vomit green vomit, be very sick/inactive and have abdominal pains. The pain diminishes as the bowel dies as there are less nerves to transmit the pain.

Blood and mucus may be present in their poo due to the passage of dead bowel mucosa. The baby’s abdomen will also get bigger and hard to the touch. On confirmed diagnosis the baby must undergo emergency surgery to remove the dead bowel.

The survival of the baby is dependent on how much small bowel is affected and the duration of his or her symptoms. If the entire small bowel is dead, the baby will not survive. In the event the baby survives, the remaining length of small gut is a crucial determinant to his or her overall survival and growth. In the past, babies facing this would not survive, but with today’s medical breakthroughs, they may have better chances of survival.

So if your baby vomits green, please see a doctor immediately.

credit: The Star