Nursing priorities for patients with dehydration include:
patient safety: monitor vitals, esp. heart rate and blood pressure. Pt. at risk for falls due to orthostatic hypotension, dysrhythmia, muscle weakness and possible confusion. Assess muscle strength, gait stability and alertness. Fall precautions.
fluid replacement: mild to mod. dehydration is corrected with oral fluid replacement. Urge fluid intake and measure. Divide total amount needed by nurses shifts to avoid overload. Oral rehydration therapy.
drug therapy: severe or life threatening dehydration requires IV. Antidiahrreals, antiemetics, antipyretics, and antimicrobials may be used if caused diahrrea, vomiting, or fever.