A reflux wedge is a device prescribed for use in children who have gastroesophageal reflux. The foam wedge tilts the child upward to prevent or reduce gastroesophageal reflux while the child is lying in bed.
A reflux wedge is used to lift the child's head and shoulders above his stomach. It uses gravity to reduce episodes of gastroesophageal reflux, in which stomach contents flow out of the stomach, back into the esophagus and mouth, and possibly into the lungs.
The wedge is not usually recommended these days, because it has been replaced by new medical treatments and less invasive surgeries (using scopes). There is also little evidence that it leads to significant improvement, and there are concerns regarding the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in babies who are not put "back to sleep" (flat on their backs).
Lightdale JR, Gremsey DA. Gastroesophageal reflux: management guidance for the pediatrician. Pediatrics. 2013;131(5):e1684-95. PMID: 23629618 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23629618.
Review Date 12/12/2014
Updated by: Kimberly G Lee, MD, MSc, IBCLC, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.