What should be the focus of history in suspected pediatric dehydration?

Updated: Nov 12, 2018
  • Author: Alex Koyfman, MD; Chief Editor: Muhammad Waseem, MBBS, MS, FAAP, FACEP, FAHA  more...
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Answer

Obtaining a complete history from the parent or caregiver is important because it provides clues to the type of dehydration present. The emergency physician should be diligent in obtaining the following information:

  • Feeding pattern and fluids given

  • Fluid loss (eg, vomiting, diarrhea)

  • Number of wet diapers compared with normal, suggesting oliguria or anuria

  • Activity level

  • Possible ingestions that may cause vomiting

  • Heat and sunlight exposures for insensible losses

  • Current illness pattern, fever, ill contacts

  • Recent weight prior to current illness (infants typically have regular well child appointments with weight recorded)


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