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Dehydration

Dehydration

Severe dehydration means:

  • Your mouth and eyes may be extremely dry.
  • You may pass little or no urine for 12 or more hours.
  • You may not feel alert or be able to think clearly.
  • You may be too weak or dizzy to stand.
  • You may pass out.

Severe dehydration is a medical emergency and requires emergency treatment. Call 911 or other emergency services immediately.

Moderate dehydration means:

  • You may be a lot more thirsty than usual.
  • Your mouth and eyes may be drier than usual.
  • Your urine may be much darker than usual.
  • You may pass little or no urine for 8 or more hours.
  • You may feel dizzy when you stand or sit up.

Mild dehydration means:

  • You may be more thirsty than usual.
  • Your urine may be darker than usual.

Mild to moderate dehydration is treated at home by drinking more fluids. Treatment for moderate to severe dehydration may include IV fluids and a stay in the hospital.

Dehydration is very dangerous for babies, small children, and older adults. It is most dangerous for newborns. Watch closely for early symptoms anytime there is an illness that causes a high fever, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Last Revised: May 2, 2011

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine

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