QOD 90: Dehydration in the Elderly (Labs/Health Promotion and Maintenance)

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Question:

An 86-year-old male patient is transferred from the long-term care facility where he lives to the hospital for treatment after falling in the hallway. The staff tell the nurse that he normally is not a fall risk and has been healthy and active, with little to no cognitive impairments. Upon admission, the patients laboratory workup indicates that he is severely dehydrated. Which of the following manifestations of dehydration would more likely develop in an older adult? Select all that apply.

Answer:

A.  Rapid breathing rate

B.  Confusion

C.  Convulsions

Rationale: 

Dehydration may be manifested slightly differently among elderly patients when compared to younger adults. An older adult patient may have standard symptoms of dehydration, including rapid respiratory rate and poor skin turgor, but the elderly patient may also suffer from other effects as well, such as confusion or convulsions.

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