Assessment of the dehydration in hospitalized children with gastroenteritis

G. Soen-Grisaro, S. Berman, L. Harel, M. Nussinovitch, I. Varsano, J. Amir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The accuracy of clinical assessment of the dehydration in children with acute gastroenteritis was prospectively evaluated. The study included 33 children admitted with acute gastroenteritis. Clinical assessment of the degree of dehydration was made by the medical resident. The degrees of dehydration were: mild dehydration (<5%); mild-moderate dehydration (5-7%); moderate dehydration (7-9%); severe dehydration (>9%). The gold standard was based on subsequent weight recovery in hospital. The true dehydration levels (calculated from weight gain) were: 12 children (64%)-mild; 7 (21%)-mild- moderate; and 5 (15%)moderate. Clinical assessment on admission showed 11 children (34%) mildly dehydrated; 9 (27%) mild-moderately dehydrated; 9 (27%) moderately dehydrated and 4 (12%) severely dehydrated. There was no statistically significant correlation between the overall clinical assessment and the degree of dehydration. Of the individual parameters, only decreased skin turgor and sunken fontanel had statistical significant association with the degree of dehydration. An over-estimation of the degree of dehydration on admission was found. A more accurate way of assessing dehydration is needed in order to prevent unnecessary admissions for IV rehydration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-19
Number of pages3
JournalChildren's Hospital Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998


  • Assessment
  • Dehydration
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Rehydration


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