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Pediatr Emerg Care. 2012 Dec;28(12):1380-1. doi: 10.1097/PEC.0b013e318276c7a4.

Aerophagia in a toddler with gastric pull-up: an unusual combination precipitating severe respiratory distress.

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Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, India.


Aerophagia is a common disorder in adults as well as children, which often goes unnoticed. In toddlers, it may lead to acute gastric dilatation, which, if severe enough, may lead to respiratory distress. We hereby report case of a child who had successfully undergone gastric pull-up approximately 18 months before and presented with gradually progressing dyspnea due to aerophagia from excessive crying. Expedient diagnosis from history, examination and x-ray study, and simple treatment by passage of feeding tube and gastric decompression relieved the distress and helped us overcome the acute crisis. Literature search revealed few cases of aerophagia after dissociative anesthesia. Management of aerophagia in children is discussed, and the importance of proper clinical diagnosis to prevent unnecessary interventions in an emergency scenario is highlighted.

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