Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Br J Nurs. 2015 Jun 11-24;24(11):568-70, 572-3. doi: 10.12968/bjon.2015.24.11.568.

Prevention of dehydration in hospital inpatients.

Author information

1
Foundation Doctor (FY2), Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham.
2
Consultant Anaesthetist and Clinical Tutor, Worcester Royal Hospital, Worcester.
3
Consultant Vascular Surgeon and Clinical Supervisor, Worcester Royal Hospital, Worcester.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The adverse effects of dehydration in hospital inpatients can be severe, resulting in morbidity and even mortality. This study examined the ability of surgical patients in a district general hospital to undertake the seemingly minor but critically important task of taking on oral fluids using the conventional, hospital-supplied, water jug and glass.

METHODS:

Surgical patients receiving oral fluids were interviewed on two occasions. A questionnaire assessed the patient's capacity to use the water jug and recorded his or her experience. The patient's ability to use jugs with varying volumes of water was then observed.

RESULTS:

Some patients simply could not physically lift the conventional jug of water and often went thirsty; 42% of patients could not reach the jug of water at the time of interview; 31% of patients found the simple task of pouring a glass of water difficult, very difficult or impossible.

CONCLUSION:

Patients need their individual requirements to be assessed and their preferences addressed on admission to hospital, by means of a fluid-assessment chart. Alternative methods of hydration should also be considered. Education and training on the importance of hydration remain key. These small changes could improve patient hydration and independence, thus preventing avoidable harm.

KEYWORDS:

Avoidable harm; Drinking equipment; Hydration; Patient safety; Quality improvement

PMID:
26067790
DOI:
10.12968/bjon.2015.24.11.568
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center