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Clinical assessment and diagnosis of hypovolemia (dehydration) in children

Author
Michael J Somers, MD
Section Editor
Tej K Mattoo, MD, DCH, FRCP
Deputy Editor
Melanie S Kim, MD

INTRODUCTION

Fluid therapy is intended to maintain the normal volume and composition of body fluids, and, if needed, to correct any existing abnormalities. In children, the most common abnormality is hypovolemia.

Volume depletion occurs when fluid is lost from the extracellular space at a rate that exceeds intake. The most common sites for extracellular fluid loss are:

Gastrointestinal tract (eg, diarrhea, vomiting, bleeding)

Skin (eg, fever, burns)

Urine (eg, glucosuria, diuretic therapy, diabetes insipidus)

              

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Literature review current through: Apr 2015. | This topic last updated: Apr 6, 2015.
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