What should be the focus of clinical history during the evaluation of dehydration?

Updated: Dec 07, 2018
  • Author: Lennox H Huang, MD, FAAP; Chief Editor: Timothy E Corden, MD  more...
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Answer

The following should be considered in patients with dehydration:

  • Intake of fluids, including the volume, type (hypertonic or hypotonic), and frequency

  • Urine output, including the frequency of voiding (last wet diaper), presence of concentrated or dilute urine, hematuria

  • Method of mixing infant formula; volume of water to powder being used

  • Stool output, frequency of stools, stool consistency, presence of blood or mucus in stools

  • Emesis, including frequency and volume and whether bilious or nonbilious, hematemesis

  • Contact with ill people, especially others with gastroenteritis, use of daycare

  • Underlying illnesses, especially cystic fibrosis, diabetes mellitus, hyperthyroidism, renal disease

  • Fever

  • Appetite patterns

  • Weight loss; measure of recent weight versus weight on presentation

  • Travel

  • Recent antibiotic use

  • Possible ingestions


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