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Can someone help me with this question?

Which client is at greatest risk for dehydration?

An infant with diarrhea

An elderly person who lives alone

This is one of my study questions and I had picked the infant but my friend said no it's the elderly person. Due to more risk factors. Is she right? She's convincing me now...

Lurksalot, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency Nursing.

Going strictly by the information provided, I would agree with you and say the infant with diarrhea. Yes, an elderly person living alone could/would have several potential risk factors, but an infant with diarrhea has an actual risk factor happening at this moment. I would pick an actual problem over a potential one.

You are right, not your friend, for the reason Lurksalot just stated. ALWAYS choose the actual situation over a potential one. That was something drummed into me during practice questions for NCLEX! Many times the POTENTIAL for injury is very high with Client A, but it's Client B who is in the most trouble at this exact moment.

Fix the baby :)

puggymae

Specializes in OB, NP, Nurse Educator.

We know for sure the baby has diarrhea - for all we know the elderly person is mixing a pitcher of Bloody Mary's and getting ready for company! I agree - go with what you know for sure.

The infant with diarhhea, because they didn't give any indication why the elderly person @ home would be at risk for dehydration.

Oh and adding on to what another poster has said. Don't read into the question, just take it for what it is...don't assume anything with these tricky nursing questions.

We know for sure the baby has diarrhea - for all we know the elderly person is mixing a pitcher of Bloody Mary's and getting ready for company! I agree - go with what you know for sure.

That is exactly what I was thinking . . . .

I agree with everyone - go with the baby.

Ah, this brings back memories of school and is making me sick. :rolleyes:

steph

FutureNP-PA

Specializes in Medical Surgical.

GO with the baby. I agree with everyone else. My grandmother lives alone & is no more at risk for dehydration than I am. =)

Thanks everyone!

If I have told myself once I have told myself a 1000 times....go with your gut instinct Amy...go with your gut instinct.

As a mother of 2 I KNOW how fast infants can dehydrate....so I immediately bullseyed on that one.

cathiep

Has 2 years experience. Specializes in NICU Level III.

baby!

Cathie

Daytonite, BSN, RN

Has 40 years experience. Specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt.

The answer is the baby with diarrhea. Do you understand why? I think that is the important concept you need to understand here. Quoting from Metheny, "A large loss of liquid stools can rapidly deplete the young child's ECF volume. . ." (page 400, Fluid and Electrolyte Balance: Nursing Considerations by Norma M. Metheny). In the book she has a chapter that addresses fluid balance in the elderly and there is only research to show dehydration occurring in nursing home residents. It is most often due to underlying medical problems that restricts them in some way from their ability to take in oral fluids. That is very different from being dehydrated from an acute case of diarrhea.

The baby will dehydrate faster and be more acutely ill before any elderly adult who is just not taking in adequate oral fluids.

Which client is at greatest risk for dehydration?

An infant with diarrhea

An elderly person who lives alone

This is one of my study questions and I had picked the infant but my friend said no it's the elderly person. Due to more risk factors. Is she right? She's convincing me now...

i think that you are correct because when you have diarrhea, you loose electrolites (spelling), if i am correct. when you lose those electrolites your body needs for them to be replaced, keeping you hydrated. now when your an infant you can't just go the frig. and open it and say "eh i think i'll have a glass of water to replace my electorlites". parents or whoever is watching the infant needs be the one to rehydrate the child. do u understand what i am trying to say? infants would have more risk factors than the elderly person just because they have not yet developed that mentality to fend for themselves.

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