Question about dehydration...

  1. I have a question about dehydration, clinical signs & symptoms. Is it possible for somebody to be dehydrated but have electrolytes WNL? The reason I ask is because I have been down with some nasty stomach virus since Monday. I went to clear liquids and still had diarrhea, nausea, and dry heaves for 48 hours. Went to the ER, got some labs drawn and started a bag of D5 1/2 NS wide open on me. My B/P was 88/58 with a HR of 111. After the first liter of fluids, my B/P was up to 102/66 and after the second bag wide open my B/P was up 126/85 (which is about normal for me). My HR was down in the 90's. The doctor said my labs were all okay, except for a slightly elevated WBC. Got some Phenergan IV with the 1st liter of fluids. Felt some better after the IV fluids. Been home for almost 12 hours now, and so far so good. I am weak, but the diarrhea has stopped for now.

    Can someone have the physical S/S of dehydration and have perfectly normal labs? Thanks.
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   Tweety
    Usually the creatinine is elevated slightly, but in a noncritical or nonemergent case like yours. Symptoms such as hypoglycemia and tachycardia would indicate dehydration without abnormal labs. Sometimes it helps to look at the big picture.
  4. by   extremebean
    by "all OK", maybe he just meant "not too abnormal to be of much concern". our er docs say "normal" to pts all the time when the labs are 'close enough' to being WNL- esp when current tx is bringing resolve. did you actually see your results? i'll bet they weren't fully WNL.
    how are you feeling by now?
  5. by   CMERN
    I agree with Extremebean...and we have a doc or two that says those prases, then says oh and "labs to go"...so the patient has 100 questions for the nurse when they see a value thats .1 or .2 away from WNL...but to the patient thats "abnormal"!!!! I wish the doctor would not say "your labs look normal" if they dont LOOK normal, even though the LABS ARE "NEAR" NORMAL>..
    Last edit by CMERN on Nov 7, '02
  6. by   Tweety
    correction: I meant hypotension, not hypoglycemia. By nonemergent, I meant noncritical, you were very very ill, but not critically.

    I also meant to wish you well. Hope you are feeling better.
  7. by   deespoohbear
    I am feeling better this morning. Still pretty weak, but I think I finally got a handle on the diarrhea and nausea. Called in sick for today. I didn't get to see the labs and at the time I didn't really care. I just wanted something to get me feeling better. I really trust this ER doc and his judgement. I was just curious with my B/P being so low initially and my HR being slightly high. Thanks for all the responses.
  8. by   extremebean
    glad you continue to get better. rest while you can on this day off!! will be thinking of you.

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