The worldwide burden of diarrhoeal disease results in 1.5 million deaths annually in children under the age of five. Emergency physicians are often the primary medical provider to care for these children, so a firm understanding of diarrhoeal aetiology, microbiology, risk stratification, and treatment options is crucial. By using a focused history and physical exam with appropriately targeted serum investigations and imaging studies, children may be accurately assessed for degree of dehydration. Ultrasound imaging in particular is emerging as a rapid and reliable tool for this purpose. While oral rehydration remains essential first-line treatment, more severe presentations warrant use of intravenous crystalloid for the correction of fluid deficit. A focus on proper patient disposition and discharge instructions is also critical for prevention of further morbidity and to prevent unnecessary emergency centre returns. This overview of recent literature provides the emergency physician with a basic understanding of the evidence supporting management of paediatric diarrhoea.
- Pediatric Emergency Management
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine
- Geochemistry and Petrology
- Critical Care