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Hiccups, Emergency Medicine

Reviewed 06/2017
 


Basics

Description

  • Sudden, involuntary contraction of the diaphragm (usually unilateral) and other inspiratory muscles terminated by abrupt closure of the glottis

  • Medical terminology: Singultus

  • Usually o...

Diagnosis

Signs and Symptoms

  • Characteristic sound abruptly ending an inspiratory effort

  • Attacks usually occur at brief intervals and last only a few seconds or minutes.

  • Attacks lasting >48 hr or persi...

Treatment

Ed Treatment/Procedures

  • Treat specific causes when identified:

    • Remove foreign bodies from the ear.

    • Relieve gastric distention with a nasogastric tube.

  • Nonpharmacologic maneuvers:

    • Catheter stimula...

Follow-Up

Disposition

Admission Criteria

If hiccups interfere with daily activities and could lead to decreased nutritional or fluid intake, aspirations, insomnia, wound dehiscence 

Discharge Criteria

  • If ...

Pearls and Pitfalls

Protracted hiccups are strongly suggestive of underlying organic disease. 

Additional Reading

  • Calsina-Berna  A, García-Gómez  G, González-Barboteo  J, et al. Treatment of chronic hiccups in cancer patients: A systematic review. J Palliat Med.  2012;15(10):1142–1150.

  • Chan...

Codes

ICD9

  • 306.1 Respiratory malfunction arising from mental factors

  • 786.8 Hiccough

ICD10

  • F45.8 Other somatoform disorders

  • R06.6 Hiccough

SNOMED

  • 65958008 Hiccoughs (finding)

  • 191955009 Psychogenic hiccough

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