Podcast #5: The Physiology of Emesis - The Emergency Medical Minute

Podcast #5: The Physiology of Emesis

Run Time: 3 minutes4236de5d-c64a-4d96-a8e0-dc47bdbd6be3

Author: Dr. Jared Scott

Educational Pearls:

  • The area postrema controls vomiting – not protected by blood-brain barrier – gets input from several types of receptors, the vagus nerve, serotonin input from gastric mucosa, and cranial nerve #8.
  • Physiologic steps: Increased salivation, Involuntary deep breath to avoid aspiration, retro-peristalsis of the upper half of the small intestine, increased intra abdominal pressure, contraction of the diaphragm and abdominal musculature, and finally the lower esophageal sphincter opens.
  • The stomach does not contract when you vomit – it is passive.
  • Sympathetic nervous system is activated and endorphins are released immediately afterwards.

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