It has been demonstrated experimentally that irritation of the human esophagus will cause hiccups.1 It was later observed that infants may start to hiccup shortly (within about ten minutes) after regurgitation following nursing. It seemed probable that the irritation from gastric fluids lying in a sensitive esophagus might cause the hiccups. Possibly this irritation would be increased by curdled particles of milk. It is true that hiccups occurring after nursing were not always preceded by visible regurgitation. Regurgitation was noted in eighteen out of fifty-one attacks of hiccups studied. However, fluids might easily pass up the esophagus without actually leaving the mouth, and so escape notice. On the other hand, hiccups did not always follow definite vomiting. It is thought that, as a rule, in such cases the gastric contents did not especially irritate the esophagus. It seemed reasonable that an attack of hiccups might be stopped, momentarily at
PENDLETON WR. HICCUPS AMONG INFANTS. Am J Dis Child. 1927;34(2):207–210. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1927.04130200051007
Coronavirus Resource Center
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: