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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