Sample Nursing Essays on Fluid Balance

Acute persistent diarrhea is one of the leading causes of adult mortality in many countries across the globe. Often times, dehydration is the cause of death. Dehydration from vomiting and diarrhea can be prevented by increasing fluids intake or treated by giving patients adequate  glucose-electrolyte solution commonly referred to as Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS). This paper looks at the case of Mr. Jones who has presented to the hospital with vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and low blood pressure. Particular attention is paid to risk factors, signs and symptoms of dehydration.

Risk Factors in The Scenario

The major factors contributing to Mr. Jones’ dehydration include diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and age. Diarrhea is a common cause of dehydration and related deaths (Williams & Wold, 2020). Severe and acute diarrhea could cause a tremendous loss of water and electrolytes within a short period. The vomiting, diarrhea, and fever have caused Mr. Jones to lose water thus develop dehydration. Another risk factor for dehydration identified in the case is age, given that Mr. Jones is 80-years old. Research indicates that as the body ages, the water volume drops (Kennedy-Malone, Fletcher & Plank, 2014). Thus adults over 60 years can lose the same amount of water as younger people but develop dehydration as the younger people remain hydrated.

Additional Causes for Dehydration.

Additional causes of dehydration include alcohol consumption, diabetes, and burns. In itself, alcohol is a diuretic that works to stimulate urination. Therefore, a person can develop dehydration due to drinking excess alcohol (Williams & Wold, 2020). As for diabetes, when a person’s blood sugar levels are raised for a prolonged period, the kidneys begin to eject glucose via urinary excretion hence removing water from the body (Williams & Wold, 2020). If the condition persists, an individual may become severely dehydrated. Lastly, severe burns can deplete body fluids resulting in dehydration.

Signs and Symptoms of Dehydration in the Scenario

The signs and symptoms of dehydration identified in the scenario include fever, low blood pressure, and confusion. Mr. Jones presents with fever, and according to Williams & Wold (2020), fever worsens dehydration. Another symptom identified is low blood pressure. Roughly 55% of human blood is liquid (Kennedy-Malone et al. 2014). Excessive water loss lowers a person’s blood volume hence affecting blood pressure. Confusion is also a common indicator of dehydration. the human brain is composed of 73% water (Williams & Wold, 2020). If this organ is deprived of the right amount of water, it might not function properly. Feelings of confusion and dizziness might imply that a person is severely dehydrated.

Additional Signs and Symptoms of Dehydration

Many other indicators of dehydration exist and they can be monitored in various ways. According to Williams & Wold (2020), lack of sweat is one of the more serious dehydration signs and it implies the body is in dire need of water. It can be monitored taking lots of water cool the body and trigger sweating. Another sign of dehydration is dry skin and it is closely related to lack of sweat. Hydrated skin appears doughy, while a dehydrated one lacks elasticity (Kennedy-Malone et al. 2014). Pinching the skin, can be used to monitor this sign. if the skin appears thin and does not bounce back fast upon release, it could indicate dehydration. Notably, despite drinking a lot of water, dehydration is possible upon working too long and too hard in the summer heat because a lot of water is lost in that situation


Water constitutes a significant percentage of our bodies and is crucial for the human cell systems to perform their designated roles. Dehydration occurs when the body loses more water than it is taking in. Adequate amounts of fluids in the body guarantees that our cell system can function properly.




Kennedy-Malone, L., Fletcher, K. R., & Plank, L. M. (2014). Advanced practice nursing in the care of older adults.         Philadelphia : F.A. Davis Company.

Williams, P., & Wold, G. (2020). Basic geriatric nursing. St. Louis, Missouri : Elsevier.