Impact of Serum Electrolyte Changes in Children with Acute Diarrhea: Identifying the Risk Factors on Children's Health Outcomes and Its Impact in Society

Sarita KC, Sujeeta Bhandari, Babita Khanal


This study was conducted at pediatric department of National Medical College and Teaching Hospital, Birgunj, Nepal to identify Sodium and Potassium disturbances in acute diarrhea and its role on children's health outcomes. Ninety one admitted patients of acute diarrhea between the ages of 1 month to 5 years were studied and the results showed highly significant relationship between serum electrolyte changes and dehydration. Majority of the subjects had electrolyte abnormalities (57%) with hypokalemia in 37.4%, hyponatremia in 23.1%, hypernatremia in 7.7%, and hyperkalemia in 4.4%. Majority of cases were male (57%) while more cases of severe dehydration appeared amongst the female (15.4%) than male (6.6%) indicating less utilization of the health care services by female. This study revealed that serum electrolytes should be monitored closely in patients with acute diarrhea to minimize diarrhea induced morbidity and mortality. The study also identified the variety of risk factors associated with high incidence of diarrhea, including drinking water without any treatment, improper hand washing, and gender discrimination and forwarded recommendation for wide range of prevention strategies including health education, personal hygiene, and household sanitation.


Electrolyte, acute diarrhea, hypokalemia, hyponatremia, hypernatremia, hyperkalemia

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