Mild dehydration is common and it is usually caused by an insufficient fluid intake throughout the day. People are continuously losing liquids through sweating, breathing and urine. Others causes that lead to a loss of body water are diarrhea, vomiting, physical activity, fever or burns. Inadequate fluid intake during hot weather or when performing physical exercise can deplete body water levels. On the other hand, people suffering from a chronic disease or undergoing drug treatments are more susceptible.
We developed a care plan to maintain hydration, prevent dehydration and also to explore the prevalence of dehydration, evaluated by objective parameters, on a medical ward at Virgen de la Arrixaca University Hospital and its association with indicative dehydration parameters in hospitalized elderly people.The target population were people between 75 and 88 years old, prescribed with a lot of medication due to chronic underlying diseases.
The observed symptoms were: dry mouth, oliguria or anuria, high heart rate, dry skin and very low blood pressure in severe cases.
Besides the physical and anthropometric assessment scales we used Barthel and Yesavage to assess the emotional state and MNA to assess nutritional status.