What is the initial approach to the treatment of 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

Address emergent airway, breathing, and circulatory problems first. Obtain intravenous access, and give a 20 mL/kg isotonic fluid bolus (Ringer lactate or normal saline) to children with severe volume depletion. This should not delay transport to the appropriate facility. Reassessment of perfusion, cardiac function, mentation should take place after each intervention. At times, cardiac failure can mimic volume depletion leading to further deterioration of clinical findings after fluid administration.

Failure to diagnose appendicitis, intussusception, or small bowel obstruction places patients at risk of serious complications (including death).

Antidiarrheal medications have adverse effects and are generally not recommended without medical supervision.


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