What is 'Free water's effect?

  1. I am working in PICU.
    Sometimes, we provide to child 'free water' after enteral feeding via L-tube.
    In case of, a patient nursed by me is provied free water because of hydration.
    His Urine output was poor.
    I dont know free water's mecanism and another effect.
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   Here.I.Stand
    Well, what is the effect when YOU drink your daily 2-3 liters of free water?
  4. by   AceOfHearts<3
    In my ICU most of our patients getting tube feeds also get an hourly free water flush (FWF). If the patient is in renal failure or fluid restricted due to CHF they don't get the FWF.
  5. by   JKL33
    Quote from SUIN
    I am working in PICU.
    Sometimes, we provide to child 'free water' after enteral feeding via L-tube.
    In case of, a patient nursed by me is provied free water because of hydration.
    His Urine output was poor.
    I dont know free water's mecanism and another effect.
    In that scenario, "free water" is the extra amount of water required to sustain life that is not part of the enteral feeding solution. We have basic nutritional requirements and we have basic fluid requirements, to sustain life. Speaking simply, enteral feeding is nutrition + fluids to make a solution. But a lot of times, the amount of liquid used to make the solution doesn't cover the entire amount of fluids needed to sustain life. Therefore, extra "free water" is given to make up that difference. Like this:

    Water that is part of the enteral solution (sometimes called "feed water") + "Free water" = total fluid required/24 hrs, to sustain life.

    HTH
  6. by   KelRN215
    The amount of water in the formula isn't sufficient to meet the child's hydration needs, hence they need more "free water" in addition to the formula.
  7. by   roser13
    Are you a nurse?
  8. by   KelRN215
    You know, Nutrition usually writes pretty detailed notes about how much water is provided by the formula for tube fed kids and why they need that extra free water, at least in my hospital. Had you bothered to look at any of these notes, OP?
  9. by   AJJKRN
    At my facility we have standard orders for normal saline flushes unless the patients sodium is high and then they get sterile water flushes...this is for an adult population though...in a hospital...
  10. by   LovingLife123
    Anytime a person has a feeding tube we flush it every four hours. Now, if we are giving free water which is usually anything from 50mL to 200mL q4-8h, it's usually due to a sodium issue. All flushes are simply 30mL.
  11. by   jaderook01
    Why do I feel like someone is trying to get everyone to answer one of their homework questions?
  12. by   Kooky Korky
    Quote from KelRN215
    You know, Nutrition usually writes pretty detailed notes about how much water is provided by the formula for tube fed kids and why they need that extra free water, at least in my hospital. Had you bothered to look at any of these notes, OP?
    You're assuming there's something to bother with.
  13. by   Kooky Korky
    Quote from jaderook01
    Why do I feel like someone is trying to get everyone to answer one of their homework questions?
    Because that's what people usually assume here. Don't participate in the discussion if you feel used.
  14. by   soutthpaw
    You have to figure in their IV fluid intake as well and calculate their required maintenance fluid requirement per day. Non Fluid restricted patients can have more that required too. Best way to keep constipation at bay.

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