A 6-year-old is brought into the emergency room with severe diarrhea. What is the priority nursing action?


• Treatment focuses on rehydration and regulating electrolyte balance by oral or IV solutions.

• Fluids must be given to correct the deficit that has occurred and to replace the continuing loss until diarrhea improves.

Incorrect options:

• All children with severe diarrhea should have a stool culture taken to rule out infectious disease and to help guide proper antibiotic therapy. However, rehydration is the first priority.

• Administering ordered medications is important, but rehydrating the patient is the priority.

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