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July 7, 1923


JAMA. 1923;81(1):17-23. doi:10.1001/jama.1923.02650010021008

Vomiting, one of our protective reflexes, not infrequently requires treatment because of uselessness, excess, or a tendency to self-perpetuation.

USEFUL VOMITING  Is there irritating material in the stomach? should be the first question in the treatment of vomiting. If there is, as in a case of drug or food poisoning, emesis should be encouraged by copious drinking of lukewarm water, unless a stomach tube is available. The use of this is preferable, as with it one can cleanse the stomach much more thoroughly. When offending food is vomited, the emesis requires no direct treatment. All that is necessary is to give the stomach rest for a few hours. We must, however, beware of falling into the facile error, so commonly committed by the laity, of incriminating whatever food has just previously been eaten, when, in reality, the vomiting frequently is symptomatic of some disease like cholelithiasis or appendicitis. Earmarks of

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