Pediatric Diarrhea (Nursing)

by Jackie Calhoun, DNP, RN, CPNP-AC, CCRN

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    00:01 Hi, I'm Dr. Jackie Calhoun.

    00:02 And today we're gonna talk about pediatric diarrhea.

    00:06 In this section, we're gonna cover the definition, the causes, and then the signs and symptoms or cues of pediatric diarrhea.

    00:14 So first, let's define it.

    00:16 And the first part of diarrhea, which are probably familiar is that it's an increase in frequency and water content of bowel movements.

    00:25 So patients are having more than normal, and they're looser or more watery than normal.

    00:30 The official definition is that there are more than three stools per day or more than normal stools for age.

    00:39 And then diarrhea is often accompanied by either vomiting or just more frequent gastric emptying.

    00:45 So the whole and digestion process is sped up.

    00:49 So let's talk about the causes.

    00:52 There's two broad types of causes for diarrhea, both infectious and non-infectious.

    01:00 So for infectious, there's viruses.

    01:02 And the two big viruses we think about are Norovirus and Rotavirus.

    01:07 And then, there's bacteria.

    01:08 And these include Shigella, Salmonella, and E. Coli.

    01:14 And then for non-infectious, there's a bunch of these, but we can think about malabsorption disorders.

    01:20 So sometimes patients are eating things that they're not absorbing correctly.

    01:25 And they just come right out as diarrhea.

    01:29 There might be increased secretion of fluid by the intestinal mucosa.

    01:33 So the intestine itself is adding more water to the stool than it should.

    01:37 The intestine might be affected by hypermotility.

    01:41 So it's literally just digesting faster than normal.

    01:45 The patient might have inflammatory bowel disease.

    01:48 They may be taking a medication that causes the side effect of diarrhea, They may be having an increased osmotic load, so they may have formula that's too concentrated or maybe they're drinking a lot of juice that has a high sugar level that's causing the body to put more water into those bowel movements than normal.

    02:09 Or they might be receiving radiation therapy, which can also cause the patient to have diarrhea.

    02:14 There is also chronic diarrhea.

    02:16 So if patients may have it just one time is acute, the chronic is something that's repeated over a longer period of time, there can be certain digestive tract infections that can cause diarrhea over a long time.

    02:32 They may have celiac disease, which is a specific type of malabsorption disorder where patients just don't process or break down gluten properly.

    02:44 They may have a functional gastrointestinal, or GI disorder, and this is where their body just really can't digest things normally.

    02:52 They may have a food allergy, particularly lactose can cause diarrhea.

    02:59 They may have inflammatory bowel disease, like we said in that non infectious cause.

    03:03 And the two main types of this are either Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis.

    03:09 And then lastly, they might have small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.

    03:13 Our intestines always have bacteria in them, we need those bacteria.

    03:17 That's half of what digests our food.

    03:20 But if you have too much of certain types of bacteria, that can actually be harmful, and it can lead to diarrhea.

    03:30 There are a few other causes of pediatric diarrhea.

    03:33 And one of those other types is recent travel to places where certain microbes are known to be plentiful.

    03:41 And this is usually somewhere far away from where a patient lives because they don't have a tolerance to that microbe like someone living in an area might have.

    03:51 And then use of antibiotics.

    03:54 So we talked about the definition. We talked about the causes.

    03:58 And let's talk about the cues or the signs and symptoms.

    04:03 Aside from just the frequency of bowel movements themselves, the patient might experience abdominal cramping.

    04:10 They might have abdominal pain.

    04:13 They might have hyperactive bowel sounds or sensations.

    04:16 And sometimes these can even be loud enough.

    04:17 You don't need to hear them with a stethoscope, or you can even feel them if you're palpate in a patient's abdomen.

    04:25 And they may have an urgency to go just because that intestines working so hard, and the patient really needs to get to the toilet as soon as possible.

    04:33 So let's review those cues and kind of put it all together at the end of this lecture.

    04:38 So the patient, to have diarrhea, they need to be having more than three stools per day.

    04:43 Those stools are loose or liquid and quality.

    04:48 The stools may or may not have blood in them.

    04:52 They may smell bad or be malodorous.

    04:56 They may contain mucus depending on the cause.

    05:00 And they may also look greasy, depending on the cause.

    05:04 So thanks for going over this video with me.

    05:06 I'm glad you watched it. And we'll see you next time.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Pediatric Diarrhea (Nursing) by Jackie Calhoun, DNP, RN, CPNP-AC, CCRN is from the course Gastrointestinal Disorders – Pediatric Nursing.

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Greasy, loose stools.
    2. Abdominal cramping.
    3. Stools that contain mucous or blood.
    4. A minimum of five or more stools per day.
    5. Hypoactive bowel sounds.
    1. Norovirus
    2. Rotavirus
    3. Shigella
    4. Dumping syndrome
    5. Irritable bowel syndrome

    Author of lecture Pediatric Diarrhea (Nursing)

     Jackie Calhoun, DNP, RN, CPNP-AC, CCRN

    Jackie Calhoun, DNP, RN, CPNP-AC, CCRN

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