Diagnosis and Management of Pediatric Gastroesophageal Reflux in the Emergency Department.

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DOI: 10.1097/PEC.0000000000003006


Gastroesophageal reflux (GER) is a common physiologic occurrence in infants, children, and adolescents and can develop into a pathological process (GERD) with associated complications. Gastroesophageal reflux is reported in approximately 30% of healthy infants, with a peak age of 3 to 4 months and is a common concern from families presenting to the emergency department. Evaluation and diagnosis of GER/GERD is primarily clinical and requires a detailed history, a complete physical examination, and exclusion of more severe extraesophageal pathologies. A high index of suspicion for GERD should be considered in patients with recurrent respiratory symptoms, difficulty with weight gain, and children with medically complex conditions who would be at higher risk for these complications. This review will briefly discuss diagnostic studies for the evaluation of GER/GERD; however, these are not helpful in the acute care setting and should be reserved for evaluation by a subspecialist. Management of GER/GERD includes nonmedication management with reflux precautions and dietary/lifestyle modifications; medication management with proton-pump inhibitors, H2 blockers, antacids, or prokinetics, as well as surgical management for refractory or high-risk cases.

Journal Title

Pediatric emergency care





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MeSH Keywords

Adolescent; Child; Infant; Humans; Gastroesophageal Reflux; Emergency Service, Hospital; Affect; Critical Care; Physical Examination


Gastroesophageal Reflux; Hospital Emergency Service; Affect; Critical Care; Physical Examination

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