Diarrheal disease results in impairment of absorption of water and sodium in the intestinal tract. In early stages, infants with diarrhea may maintain their water, electrolyte, and nutritive balance if they continue to take in sufficient water and food. In more severe diarrheal disease, however, refusal of food and vomiting usually supervene, and it is at this stage that the continued loss of gastrointestinal secretion leads to rapid depletion of body water and electrolytes. Initially, therapy is focused upon replacement of the losses of water and of the main extracellular ions, since the reduction of the extracellular fluid volume and distortion of the ionic structure of extracellular fluids are the main causes of the acute manifestations of dehydration in infants.Decline of interstitial fluid and of plasma volume leads to impairment of circulation, diminution of renal blood flow, and oliguria.The assessment of the severity of dehydration depends on
CZACZKES JW, ABRAHAMOV A. Plasma Volume as an Index of Total Fluid Loss: A Study of 75 Dehydrated Infants. Am J Dis Child. 1961;102(2):190–193. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1961.02080010192006
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