When someone becomes severely dehydrated, there really is only one thing that they need to recover – more water and electrolytes. In milder cases, drinking water may be sufficient. When young children, or people who are not healthy enough to drink fluids on their own, become dehydrated, they may have dehydration requiring IV hydration.
Causes of Dehydration
Dehydration normally occurs because the body expels more fluid than is taken in to replace it. It is particularly a problem in the hot summer months, when sweating from sports and other outdoor activities causes a rapid loss of fluids.
An excessive loss of fluids can take place any time of year, especially when there is sickness that leads to nausea and vomiting. Medications can also cause it, and seniors often do not drink enough water to stay well hydrated. This is because their sense of thirst is often reduced, but illnesses such as diabetes will increase your risk of dehydration.
Symptoms of Extreme Dehydration
Ordinary dehydration is not that much of a problem because it is rather easily resolved by just drinking water, but a sports drink is best. As long as the child or person will drink it, that is usually all they need. When severely dehydrated, the following symptoms may be present:
Of a child:
- No wetting of diapers for three hours
- Sunken cheeks and eyes
- Soft spot on top of head is sunken
- Listless or irritable
- No tears as they cry
- Dry lips and tongue
- Rapid breathing
- Extreme sleepiness
Of an adult:
- Dark-colored urine
- Extreme thirst
- Urinating less frequently
A doctor will perform some tests in order to determine how great the dehydration has become. Blood tests will reveal how well the kidneys are working and urine samples will be taken to check on the level of dehydration and for bladder infection.
Types of IV Solutions
When you or a child is admitted to a hospital for dehydration requiring IV hydration, there are two kinds of fluids that may be given. The medical staff will determine which one is needed. You may be given an IV solution of water and salt, or one with a mixture of water and sugar. Other minerals such as calcium and potassium, as well as some vitamins, and possibly some medications may also be added to the solution.
The Length of Treatment
The amount of time the patient will need to be on the IV treatment will depend on the degree of severity of the dehydration. It could take a day or several days. Prior to being released from the IV, the patient – whether a child or adult – will need to be able to drink fluids orally. The IV may be hooked up to a pump or use a drip.
The Silver Star Urgent Care clinic is equipped to handle dehydration requiring IV hydration when needed. The doctors at the clinic are all Board-certified, and some of them have worked in emergency rooms in hospitals. This ensures that we can provide you with the best care.