Gastric lavage, commonly referred to as stomach pumping, is an unpleasant but highly necessary procedure in some cases. It’s truly a life or death situation when a person needs to get their stomach pumped.

What is stomach pumping?

It’s a procedure that is used to rid of unwanted waste in your stomach. It’s done by irrigating the contents of your stomach using a water solution. A flexible tube is put down the patient’s nose through the esophagus and into the stomach. The water solution is pumped into the stomach then suctioned out taking along with it any unwanted contents. Doctors will repeat this process until they are certain the patient has no unwanted contents left in their system.

Why would a stomach pump be necessary?

There are various contents that could be in your system causing your body to fail. If your stomach isn’t pumped in a timely manner, these contents could cause you to die. Here are the five most common reasons patients need to get their stomach pumped.

1. Overdose

In emergeny cases requiring a stomach pump, the patient overdosed on either drugs or alcohol. The stomach pump will prevent the contents from spreading throughout the rest of the body. This will reduce the effects of drug or alcohol poisoning. It doesn’t matter if the ingestion of the drugs or alcohol was intentional or accidental, the doctors will pump the patient’s stomach in order to save their life.

2. Clean your system

If a patient has to undergo stomach surgery or an endoscopy, the doctor needs a clear line of vision. In addition to not being able to eat for a certain amount of time before the procedure, the doctor will also pump your stomach to ensure it is completely clear of all contents.

3. Cool you down

Hyperthermia, or overheating, is a very real problem that affects many people in our society. During the hot Las Vegas summer months, many of us are at risk. If the body’s temperature doesn’t cool down, the person could become dizzy, get heat cramps, feel weak and in extreme cases even die. Stomach pumping can cool down a patient because the doctors will use icey water. This can quickly restore the person’s body temperature to normal.

4. Sample stomach contents

If you are experiencing odd symptoms, in some cases the doctor may want to sample your stomach contents to help them reach a diagnosis. A tiny sample of stomach acid can give doctors more information about bacteria in your body. When they need a sample, doctors will use the first sample that comes out of the stomach pump because the solution could affect it.

5. Relieve pressure

Stomach pumping can be used to prevent things from being digested. This can be helpful when a patient is suffering from impacted fecal matter. The gastric lavage will clear the stomach contents before it can block up the digestive tract.

If you are experiencing harsh stomach pains, you could need your stomach pumped. Visit an urgent care in Las Vegas rather than an ER. You won’t have to wait as long to be treated and the quality of care is just as good. For more information about an urgent care in Las Vegas, contact 702.852.2000.

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