UMEM Educational Pearls

  • diarrhea lasting less than 14 days
  • in children, almost all diarrhea is due to an infectious agent
  • most etiologies are self-limited and do not need further evaluation except in the following conditions:
  1. infants < 2 months of age
  2. gross blood in stool
  3. WBC's on microscopic exam of stool
  4. toxic-appearance
  5. immunocompromised child
  6. diarrhea developing while an inpatient
  • therapy is aimed at oral rehydration and providing nutrional needs
  • ORT is best with commerical formulations specific for this as most other clear liquids (juice, sodas) are hypertonic and have excess glucose resulting in ongoing diarrhea-like stools
  • after rehydration, resume the child's normal diet. 


MedStudy Pediatrics Board Review Core Curriculum