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When/How to get IV fluids for dehydration

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My mother just came home from a trip and brought a bug with her.  She is vomiting and has diarrhea.  I started having diarrhea hours ago, but thought nothing of it, because POTS.

I came back to her house to take care of her dog who needs medications several times a day, and she told me my grandmother had vomiting and diarrhea before she was visiting.  So am guessing this is viral and I will get it too.

How do you know when it's time to get IV fluids when something like this happens?  I am not on any meds for my POTS (I should be, but that's a long story).  I'm not sure when to go get fluids or where to go.  The last time I called Dr. Grubb's office to ask, the nurse told me the ER is only for people who are on the floor dying.  I can't wait until I'm unable to retain consciousness to get fluids, you know? 

Thank you.

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I got this info from WebMD:

If your dehydration is serious, you may need to see a doctor to get treated with intravenous (IV) fluids. Severe dehydration may require you to go to the hospital. You should get medical attention immediately if you:

  • Haven’t peed in 8 hours
  • Have had a seizure
  • Are disoriented or confused
  • Have a weak or rapid pulse
  • Feel very tired
  • Feel dizzy when you stand
  • Are too sick (nauseated or vomiting) to take in fluids
Personally I drink plenty of broth or Gatorade/ Pedialyte when sick like that but if I cannot keep fluids down I get IV fluids. Many urgent care centers offer IV fluids and if you become highly symptomatic any ER can also.
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Thank you so much for answering.  

I took my mom to the ER last night because she had so much vomiting and diarrhea that she was weak and feeling like passing out.  I'm hoping I won't get what she had, but we'll see.

I feel like having clear guidelines helps, because I don't think as clearly as I used to...especially when I am acutely ill with a bug.  And expecting my mother to know when to take me is too much to expect.

Thanks again @Pistol


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@Mistri_The_Squirrel - Oh my, I hope your Mom is OK? If you get sick drink as much as you can.  Normally when we have diarrhea and vomiting we loose so much fluids that it is necessary to go to ER, so do not wait! But hopefully it will pass you by. Best wishes!

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  • 3 weeks later...

@Pistol  Thank you.  Yes, she is doing much better.

It did pass me by, thankfully.  When we were at the ER, the doc said he thought it was one of two viruses, both of which are extremely contagious.  He said one could have an incubation period of up to 7 days, so I was crossing my fingers for a week.

My mom mostly stayed in her room and slept while I took care of her dog downstairs.  When I was around her, I wore a mask.  Was told to wash my hands a lot and disinfect things, so I did that.  And did not eat foods I knew she'd touched with her hands.

Whatever she had was not mild.  The only time I've heard someone vomiting with such force and frequency was during an ER visit once.  And the moaning sounds she was making really alarmed me too, as I'd not heard that before from her.  I'm glad I took her when I did.  She was miserable, and I knew if it went on for too long I would have to call an ambulance.  

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