Dehydration is one of the common presentations to the general practice or emergency departments (EDs) in children having acute gastroenteritis (AGE). Assessing the severity of dehydration remains a challenge among physicians, and the dehydration scales currently available are inaccurate. The correct assessment of dehydration is the basis for proper management of acute diarrhea in children. Rapid oral rehydration therapy (ORT) over 3–4 hours remains the cornerstone treatment of AGE with dehydration. It is advisable to reserve intravenous (IV) rehydration therapy for patients with severe dehydration and for those who fail ORT. Rapid standard-volume (20 ml/kg/hour) IV bolus of isotonic solution for 1–4 hours followed by oral fluid intake or maintenance IV fluids seems to be adequate for most cases requiring IV rehydration. A minority of patients may be presented with complications due to diarrheal dehydration, such as dyselectrolytemia, which requires careful calculation of fluids and electrolytes with slow correction approach.
Part of the book: Perspective of Recent Advances in Acute Diarrhea