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Should oral fluids be prescribed to at risk patients in hospital?

  • Comments (19)

Should oral fluids be prescribed to at risk patients in hospital?

Recent news stories have highlighted problems with dehydration in hospitals. NHS Kidney Care recently launched the Hydration Matters campaign to encourage staff to better monitor and manage inpatients’ fluid status. It aims to remind all healthcare staff that monitoring fluid status and ensuring correct hydration should be an essential core component of care for all patient.

Should oral fluids be considered a “treatment” and prescribed for patients are risk of hydration? Who should be responsible for prescribing and monitoring intake?

Call to reduce kidney injury by monitoring patient fluids (2012) Nursing Times. Published online 30 June 2012.

 

  • Comments (19)

Readers' comments (19)

  • do you mean " at risk of dehydration " ? para 2

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  • Anonymous

    "Should oral fluids be prescribed to at risk patients in hospital?"

    sadly, if this is the only way they are going to get the fluids they need.

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  • Anonymous

    If oral fluids are prescribed won't there be a danger that patients will only be given drinks at the prescribed time.

    For goodness sake, this is basic stuff that everyone should know. We all need water to survive, god help us if nurses don't know how to recognise dehydration.

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  • Anonymous

    NO! Most drinks are given by students, HCAs or domestic staff. If they were prescribed they'd have to be given by nurses at set times, and the patients might not necessarily feel thirsty at that time. And the doctor will have to prescribe them too, and some doctors can be a pain to get hold of. And what do you mean "at-risk"? Everyone can be dehydrated of they don't drink!

    Even in the recent news about the young man who died because he was given no water... as the drug round wasn't done he would still have been withheld water and would have dried to death

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  • Anonymous

    Patients (if able) and nurses are responsible for ensuring patients drink enough fluids.

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  • It is a nurse's responsibility to ensure the patient is sufficiently hydrated and this duty can be delegated. However, if the nurse cannot be bothered, then we have no choice but to prescribe fluids to prevent deaths.

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  • Anonymous

    If nurses cannot be trusted to carry out their duties then other stricter measures, perhaps with penalties, have to be taken.

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  • Anonymous

    Do we not have fluid balance charts anymore? Many years on night shift, it was my job to add these up and report any imbalance at handover for the vulnerable patients (mainly elderly and those with IVIs or Catheters).

    If fluids refused (as is the patient's right) - this used to be logged on the chart as well.

    Its very basic - or am i missing something?

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  • This is an issue about basic patient care. We need to instill into all nurses the need for fluid intake of all patients be they young middle aged or elderly. Its the basics of training that is lacking here.

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  • If basic nursing care is so difficult to achieve in hospitals today why not develop a new role; that of the 'Basic Care Specialist'. This could be an HCA who has undertaken extra training and who is given a band 3/4 in accordance with the importance of the role. What better way to demonstrate to patients and staff the committment of the NHS to ensure basic needs are met. Unfortunately it appears many HCA's as well as registered nurses see this as 'menial' work, when in fact it is the basis of all care given. Provide a patient with good basic care; hygiene, toileting and nourishment, in a compassionate and considerate manner and they can forgive a lot. I am sure most of the complaints received by hospitals begin with failings of basic needs. It IS important so let's show we are doing something about it!

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