What is dehydration?

Updated: Dec 07, 2018
  • Author: Lennox H Huang, MD, FAAP; Chief Editor: Timothy E Corden, MD  more...
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Dehydration describes a state of negative fluid balance that may be caused by numerous disease entities. Diarrheal illnesses are the most common etiologies. Worldwide, dehydration secondary to diarrheal illness is the leading cause of infant and child mortality.

For patient education materials, see Children's Health Center as well as Dehydration in Children.

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