Evid Based Nurs 8:57 doi:10.1136/ebn.8.2.57
  • Assessment (screening or diagnosis)

Review: capillary refill time, abnormal skin turgor, and abnormal respiratory pattern are useful signs for detecting dehydration in children

 Q What is the accuracy of signs, symptoms, and laboratory tests for detecting dehydration in children?


GraphicData sources:

Medline (1966 to April 2003), Cochrane Library, reference lists, and experts in the field.

GraphicStudy selection and assessment:

studies in any language that compared signs, symptoms, and laboratory values with a recognised gold standard for diagnosing dehydration (rehydration weight minus acute weight divided by rehydration weight) in children (0–18 y). Study quality was ranked from highest (level 1  =  independent, blind comparison of test with a valid gold standard) to lowest (level 5  =  non-independent comparison of test with an uncertain standard of validity, which may incorporate the test result into the gold standard).


sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative likelihood ratios (LRs).


13 studies (n = 1246) met the selection criteria (4 intermediate …

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