Nursing Diagnosis For Dehydration

Dehydration is a condition in which the body does not have enough water to function properly. Dehydration can be caused by illness, injury, and certain medications. In children, dehydration can cause convulsions and unconsciousness; in adults these symptoms include fatigue, dry mouth and skin, muscle cramps or weakness and fainting.

Nursing Diagnosis For Dehydration

1 Dehydration is an abnormal condition in which the body lacks enough fluid to function properly.

Dehydration is an abnormal condition in which the body lacks enough fluid to function properly. The amount of water in our bodies, called total body water (TBW), is about 60% of our total weight. Dehydration occurs when the amount of water leaving the body exceeds that entering it. As a result, there is less fluid available for cellular activity and other functions vital to life.

Symptoms include thirst, dry mouth, and decreased urine output; however, these may be absent if you are unable to drink enough fluids because of illness or injury. Dehydration can be caused by many factors such as:

  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting (or inability to keep food down)

2 Primary Dehydration

Primary Dehydration occurs when the body loses more fluid than is taken in. It is most commonly caused by consuming too little fluid, or not replacing fluid lost because of sweating or vomiting. This type of dehydration can also occur if there is a problem with the kidneys or with the ability to absorb water from food, such as in conditions such as cystic fibrosis or celiac disease.

3 Secondary Dehydration

Simply put, dehydration is a condition in which your body doesn’t have enough fluid to function properly. This can happen when you lose more fluid than you take in, such as when you have diarrhea or throw up. Dehydration can also be caused by any condition that increases fluid loss or decreases fluid intake, such as heatstroke and vomiting.

4 The causes of dehydration may include the following factors:

The causes of dehydration may include the following factors:

  • Excessive sweating, for example due to exercise or hot weather.
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea.
  • Excessive urination, for example as a result of diabetes or the use of medication.

5 Ineffective tissue perfusion related to dehydration, as evidenced by hypotension or tachycardia.



Hypovolemic shock

6 Risk for injury related to hypovolemic shock.

  • Risk for injury related to hypovolemic shock.
  • Risk for injury is due to hypovolemic shock.
  • Hypovolemic shock is a serious condition that can lead to death.
  • Hypovolemic shock is caused by a loss of blood or body fluids, such as through bleeding, dehydration or vomiting. If you have hypovolemic shock your heart may stop beating and you may die because of this condition if not treated right away.

7 Planning and Implementation

Nursing diagnoses for dehydration include:

  • Risk for injury related to decreased level of consciousness
  • Risk for neglect related to decreased level of consciousness
  • Ineffective airway clearance related to altered mental status
  • Impaired skin integrity related to hypotensive shock
  • Nutrition, less than body requirements related to inability of the patient’s gastrointestinal tract to absorb nutrients due to active vomiting and/or diarrhea

8 Dehydration can be diagnosed through blood test and urine test.

To diagnose dehydration, a physician may use a number of tests including:

  • Blood test – The amount of sodium and glucose in your blood can be measured to determine the degree of dehydration.
  • Urine test – A specific gravity (SG) greater than 1.020 indicates that you are dehydrated. An SG less than 1.010 is considered normal for urine output but may indicate mild or moderate dehydration if it persists over several days. A urine specific gravity between 1.010 and 1.020 means you might have some fluid loss from sweat or vomiting but do not need immediate treatment as long as you continue to drink plenty of water and other fluids throughout the day instead of just drinking an occasional glass at mealtime only when thirsty because this will not help replace body salts lost through sweating during exercise activities like team sports practice sessions that last more than one hour per session on average with many breaks in between each individual game played within each period before players return home after such sessions end after completion


Dehydration is a common health problem in the United States. It can be caused by many different things, but it’s important that you know how to diagnose and treat it if it happens to one of your patients. Dehydration can lead to serious complications such as shock or organ failure if not treated early enough.

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