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

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


Embedded ImageData sources:

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

Embedded ImageStudy 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).

Embedded ImageOutcomes:

sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative likelihood …

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  • For correspondence: Dr D A DeWalt, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.

  • Source of funding: Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program.