Font Size
A
A
A
...
8
...

Dehydration in Adults (cont.)

Dehydration in Adults Medical Treatment

Treatment in the Emergency Department centers first on restoring fluid (blood) volume and electrolytes, and treating any life-threatening symptoms while also trying to determine the underlying cause(s) of the dehydration.

If the affected individual's core body temperature is greater than 104 F (40 C), doctors will cool the entire body. They may promote cooling by evaporation with mists and fans or cooling blankets and baths.

Fluid replacement in moderate to severe dehydration

  • If there is no nausea and vomiting, fluid replacement may begin orally for some patients with moderate dehydration. Patients are asked to drink electrolyte/carbohydrate-containing fluids along with water.
  • However, if there are signs of moderate to severe dehydration (elevated resting heart rate, low blood pressure), fluids are generally given through an IV.

Disposition

  • If the patient's condition improves enough (most symptoms stop) in the Emergency Department, the patient may be sent home, preferably in the care of friends or family. This is not an unusual result for many patients that arrive at an Emergency Department with moderate dehydration symptoms.
  • If the patient remains dehydrated, confused, feverish, has persistently abnormal vital signs, or signs of infection, they will likely be admitted to the hospital for additional treatment.

Acetaminophen (for example, Tylenol) or ibuprofen (for example, Advil) may be used. This can be given by mouth if the affected person is not vomiting or as a rectal suppository if they cannot take anything by mouth.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/7/2014

Must Read Articles Related to Dehydration in Adults

Diabetes: Caring for Your Diabetes at Special Times
Caring for Your Diabetes at Special Time Be prepared to manage your diabetes, and control blood sugar and symptoms when you're sick, when you're at work or school, when traveling, during pregnancy, or ...learn more >>
Dehydration in Children
Dehydration in Children Dehydration in children can result from not drinking enough liquids, vomiting, diarrhea, or combination of these conditions. Causes of dehydration in children i...learn more >>
Diarrhea
Diarrhea Diarrhea can be caused by bacterial or viral infections, parasites, intestinal diseases or conditions, reactions to medications, and food intolerance. Symptoms ...learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Dehydration (Adults):

Dehydration (Adults) - Causes and Treatment

What was the cause of your dehydration and how was it treated?

Dehydration (Adults) - Symptoms

What were the symptoms of your dehydration?



NIH talks about Ebola on WebMD

Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic State »

Hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state (HHS) is one of two serious metabolic derangements that occurs in patients with diabetes mellitus and can be a life-threatening emergency.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


Medical Dictionary