What are the CDC recommendations for the evaluation of acute pediatric diarrhea?

Updated: Jan 31, 2020
  • Author: Stefano Guandalini, MD; Chief Editor: Carmen Cuffari, MD  more...
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Answer

In 2003 the Center for Disease Control (CDC) put forth recommendations for the management of acute pediatric diarrhea in both the outpatient and inpatient settings including indication for referral. [1]

Indications for medical evaluation of children with acute diarrhea include the following:

  • Younger than 3 months

  • Weight of less than 8 kg

  • History of premature birth, chronic medical conditions, or concurrent illness

  • Fever of 38ºC or higher in infants younger than 3 months or 39ºC or higher in children aged 3-36 months

  • Visible blood in the stool

  • High-output diarrhea

  • Persistent emesis

  • Signs of dehydration as reported by caregiver, including sunken eyes, decreased tears, dry mucous membranes, and decreased urine output

  • Mental status changes

  • Inadequate responses to oral rehydration therapy (ORT) or caregiver unable to administer ORT


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