Silly question about what is considered a liquid
- 0Aug 10, '08 by queenjeanOkay, I had a CHFer on a pretty severe fluid restriction (severe for our floor, we are a medical floor in a smaller hospital).
Anyhow, this gentleman was hungry, it was the middle of the night, and we don't have a lot in the low sodium, fluid free snack department. The aide gave him pudding. I told her she needed to document it as a liquid. The other nurses disagreed with me, saying pudding is not considered a liquid. I have always reported it as a liquid.
If ice cream and jello are considered liquids, why is pudding not considered a liquid? Or is it?
- 3Aug 10, '08 by hypocaffeinemiaWhat's silly is that we put all this weight on "is it a liquid or a solid"?
The fact is that a significant portion of most presumably solid foods are water. Look at fruits and veggies, and even meat. You can survive on just the water from solid food.
If it gets hot in the microwave it's safe to assume that there's a decent amount of water in it (that's how microwaves work, after all).
Now, unless we're going to require nurses to perform mass analysis to determine the specific amounts of water per food item, fluid restrictions are merely reasonable guidelines for treatment and should be respected when something is clearly a liquid.
Regarding pudding-- yes, there's a decent amount of water in it that will be absorbed upon digestion. Whether or not you choose to restrict that should be a judgment call based on your assessment of the patient, their hydration and nutritional status, and even their psychological status.
Hope this helps.
- 0Aug 10, '08 by hypocaffeinemiaQuote from psalm51No, I'm afraid that's not the principle at all. The patient's body doesn't care if its H2O comes from a bottle of water or room temperature pudding or green beans or a juicy chicken breast. It all gets absorbed during digestion and affects the body identically.the principle is that if it will beccome liquid when left at room temperature, then it is liquid.
Whether or not something is a liquid at room temperature is merely an easy way to visualize its water content-- not a principle. If we could determine the exact water content of other foods as easily, we might find that a salad contains more water than a jello cup, for instance.
- 1Aug 10, '08 by Murse901It probably really just depends on your hospital's policy. Check with the RD in your hospital.
As for saying "If it's liquid at room temp, it's liquid", the pudding that we stock in the places I've worked is the kind that doesn't have to be refrigerated and is thick at room temp.
- 1Aug 10, '08 by locolorenzo22true, but if it "breaks down" to mostly liquid content...i.e pudding started as milk, then thickened with solution and cooked...in reverse, it goes back to liquid....so I would count it. But, I wouldn't consider it diet restriction unless he was gorging on it...if he needed the calories for nutrition, I would probably let him have it.