CAUSES AND EFFECTS OF DEHYDRATION
When water is constantly lost from the body as in severe vomiting, diarrhoea, excessive sweating or excessive urine formation due to treatment with diuretics, the total water content of the body is reduced. Extra cellular and intra cellular fluid decreases leading to dehydration.
Effects of dehydration
1. Tongue is dry.
2. Pinch test is done by raising and releasing the skin. Slow return of skin to original position indicates decreased ECF.
3. Decrease in plasma volume reduces cardiac output and may lead to cardiac failure.
PREVENTION OF DEHYDRATION
Dehydration can be prevented by taking sufficient amounts of water as fluids. The correction of dehydration is called rehydration.
Oral rehydration therapy
It is the administration of fluid to prevent or correct dehydration.
Oral rehydration salt
WHO, UNICEF formula consist of the NaCl - 3.5 g, NaHCO3 - 2.5 g, KCl - 1.5g and glucose - 20 g to be dissolved in one litre of potable drinking water.
The Glucose present aids in the absorption of sodium chloride and potassium chloride apart from giving energy. This mixture is administered through the oral route at frequent intervals until the normal state is attained.
Potable water is that water which is safe and wholesome. It should be:
1. free from pathogenic agents
2. free from harmful chemical substance
3. pleasant to taste; free from colour and odour
4. usable for domestic purpose.