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Emergency Care for Severe Vomiting


Vomiting is the forceful ejection of the contents of your stomach through your mouth. It is a symptom of many different diseases and medical conditions. Stomach flu (viral gastroenteritis) is one of the most common causes of vomiting. 

At Dignity Health, our doctors and nurses are trained to triage and treat vomiting and provide a full range of care to address its causes. If you need to go to the ER for severe vomiting in the Bay Area, wait at home, not the ER. Use our Online Waiting Room to select your estimated arrival time at your nearest Dignity Health emergency room.

What Causes Vomiting?

Vomiting is often caused by stomach flu, especially in children. Stomach flu is the inflammation and irritation of your stomach, large intestine, and small intestine. 

Vomiting can also be caused by other types of infections and conditions, including meningitis, appendicitis, and food poisoning.

Dehydration & Symptoms of Vomiting

Watery diarrhea and nausea often occur along with vomiting. This fluid loss can lead to dehydration. The elderly, children, and infants are at greatest risk for dehydration. To check for dehydration, gently pinch the skin. If it doesn’t flatten out normally, you may be dehydrated.

Symptoms of dehydration include: 

  • Dark urine
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Fatigue
  • Thirst
  • Urinating less than normal

In toddlers and infants, additional signs of dehydration include: 

  • Dry mouth and tongue
  • Irritability 
  • Listlessness
  • No tears with crying
  • No wet diapers for three hours
  • Sunken eyes, cheeks, or soft spots

See a Dignity Health doctor if vomiting lasts for more than two days or if it occurs along with:

  • Blood in the vomit
  • High fever
  • Inability to keep down liquids
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Signs of dehydration

Vomiting Treatments at Dignity Health in the Bay Area

Treatment of vomiting focuses on stopping it and preventing dehydration. Broth, clear liquids, and sports drinks can help prevent dehydration by replacing lost fluids and electrolytes. If nausea is a problem, sucking on ice chips or taking small sips can help keep fluids down. Avoid drinking large amounts at once, which can upset your stomach and make vomiting worse. Anti-nausea medications should be avoided unless prescribed by your doctor. 

Trust your Dignity Health doctor to provide personal care if you are dealing with severe vomiting in the Bay Area.

Dignity Health offers emergency treatment for vomiting in San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and Redwood City.