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Evaluating outcomes associated with a discharge action plan employing single-dose home use of ondansetron in patients with acute gastroenteritis

Authors Haines E, van Amerongen, Birkhahn, Wen, Gaeta

Received 19 October 2011

Accepted for publication 8 November 2011

Published 23 March 2012 Volume 2012:4 Pages 1—4

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OAEM.S27462

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4


Elizabeth Haines1, Robert van Amerongen2, Robert Birkhahn1, Wendy Wen1, Theodore Gaeta1

1Department of Emergency Medicine, 2Pediatric Emergency Services, New York Methodist Hospital, Brooklyn, NY, USA

Abstract: Acute gastroenteritis accounts for 1–2 million annual pediatric emergency department visits in the US. The current literature supports the use of antiemetics, such as ondansetron, in the emergency department, reporting improved oral rehydration, cessation of vomiting, and reduction in the need for intravenous rehydration. However, there remains concern that using these agents may “mask alternative diagnoses” and negatively impact patient care. We present a case series of 29 patients who received a pediatric emergency department discharge action plan which allowed for a dose of ondansetron to be dispensed by the clinician at the time of discharge. Patients were instructed to administer the ondansetron at home for treatment of ongoing nausea and vomiting any time after 6 hours from the time of emergency department discharge. These patients were followed up at 3–5 days following discharge to assess for outcomes. Implications of this discharge action plan and future directions are discussed.

Keywords: gastroenteritis, ondansetron, discharge action plan

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