PONV and PDNV can cause serious problems. Because fluids are lost when a person vomits, people with PONV and PDNV can become dehydrated. Dehydration is more likely to occur in children, the elderly, or people with severe or long-lasting vomiting. Severe dehydration can lead to irregular heart rhythms, seizures, brain damage, or death.
Vomiting involves forceful contractions of the stomach. This can put pressure on the surgical wound and stitches, and may lead to tissue damage, reopening of the wound, or bleeding.
Another potentially serious problem associated with PONV and PDNV is called "aspiration." This is where vomit is accidentally breathed in to the lungs. Aspiration can lead to a lung infection known as "aspiration pneumonia."
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