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Signs
 
 

Dehydration

 
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Overview

  • Look For

  • Abnormal obs - tachycardia, hypotension
  • Fluid balance chart - negative fluid balance, oliguria
  • Weight loss - an acute decrease in weight may indicate short-term change in fluid status
  • Dry mucous membranes - especially the tongue
  • Sunken eyes
  • Increased capillary refill time (>2 seconds)
  • Weak radial pulse
  • Decreased skin turgor - pinch a fold of skin on the patient’s arm and then release it. Decreased skin turgor is present if the fold takes an abnormal time to return to its normal contour.
  • Causes of Dehydration

  • Poor fluid intake
  • Fluid loss - diarrhoea, vomiting, sweating, diuresis (diabetes, diuretics)
  • Complications

  • Seizures
  • Renal failure
  • Hypovolaemic shock
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