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Referral diagnosis of dehydration often reflects an unspecified concern

Dehydration is a relatively common referral diagnosis in patients acutely admitted to a medical department. The present study of Poulsen and Schiødt describes the characteristics and the prognosis of 128 patients consecutively admitted with the diagnosis of dehydration during a 70-day period.
Patients with dehydration are generally elderly people with co-morbidity (Toke Schultze - Founthouse).
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The study shows that dehydration was present in 64% of the patients and that discharge diagnoses mainly included infections, but also diagnoses such as cancers and stroke. Mortality at six months was 27% for the entire population and 37% in the group with confirmed dehydration. The authors conclude that a referral diagnosis of dehydration often reflects an unspecified concern of the referring doctor rather than a real suspicion of dehydration.

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Dehydration as referral diagnosis to a medical admittance department
Anja Poulsen & Frank Vinholt Schiødt

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