Digestive Health – Gastroenteritis First Aid Care

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Many people have already experienced diarrhea, but when this is accompanied by other symptoms like severe abdominal cramps and/or pain and vomiting, it may be caused by inflammation of the intestines and stomach. This condition is known as gastroenteritis, which is caused by rotavirus in children and campylobacter and norovirus in adults. Sometimes, gastroenteritis is also called stomach virus, stomach bug or stomach flu.

Gastroenteritis First Aid – What Are The Causes?

The most common cause of gastroenteritis is viral infection, although there are cases of bacterial and parasitic infection as well. These infectious agents are commonly transmitted to individuals through consumption or ingestion of contaminated foods and water source. Person to person contamination is can also happen through sharing or personal objects or close contact.

What Are The Symptoms Of Gastroenteritis?

The common symptoms of gastroenteritis include loose, watery stools, accompanied by stomach pains, vomiting, low to mild grade fever, headache, and weakness. The problem with gastroenteritis is that when an infected child or adult continuously vomits or passes stool, he or she can be dehydrated in the process. Signs of dehydration in individuals with gastroenteritis include dry lips, mouth and skin, lightheadedness and extreme thirst.

The Concern Is Among The Children Population

Unlike adults who can complain and understand thirst, stomach pain, vomiting and fever, children is of particular concern because they can get dehydrated faster without their knowledge. It is therefore important for parents to watch out for signs and symptoms of dehydration. If the child is already a student, keep him out of school first, because gastroenteritis is contagious. If the child is having fever and the pain is persistent, have him checked by a pediatrician so that appropriate medications can be started. As prevention for dehydration, let the child drink plenty of water and rehydration solutions after every episode of diarrhea. Finally, infants should be vaccinated to prevent rotavirus contamination.

Abdominal pain and cramp are the common characteristics of gastroenteritis.

Abdominal pain and cramp are the common characteristics of gastroenteritis.

Adults Should Be Concerned About Dehydration, Too

Although adolescents and adults have larger electrolyte reserves than children, they can also suffer dehydration resulting from gastroenteritis. Call emergency assistance if you experience any of these symptoms:

  • Extreme thirst, dryness of the lips and mouth
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Rapid heartbeat or breathing
  • Muscle weakness
  • Inattentiveness
  • Doubled or blurred vision
  • First aid for dehydration includes gradual eating of ice chips and non-caffeinated drinks. Rehydration solutions are also necessary for intake.
  • Seek additional help if vomiting, bloody stool and high grade fever persists for more than 2 days.

Knowledge about first aid is essential especially for children. Get to know more about child care first aid by checking out this site.

Related Video on Gastroenteritis:

[youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5sgpZBf4MxY” width=”220″]

Sources:

“Gastroenteritis – First Aid and Emergency Treatment Guide.” Medindia. Retrieved online on August 16, 2014 from http://www.medindia.net/patients/firstaid-gastroenteritis.htm

“Gastroenteritis Treatment.” Web MD. Retrieved online on August 16, 2014 from http://www.webmd.com/first-aid/gastroenteritis-treatment

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  • We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable websites, academic research institutions and medical articles.

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