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Drip or Drink Hydration Project

dip or drink collage

Monday 12 December 2022, marks the day that as a Trust we went live with the Drip or Drink Hydration Project.

Nationally around 45% of patients will suffer from dehydration at some point during their hospital admission.

Dehydration leads to an increased incidence of falls, delirium and extended lengths of stay, not to mention the negative impact it has on morbidity and mortality.

As a Trust we have done a great deal to combat this issue including implementing the Acute Kidney Injury and Renal Specialist Nurse Team; the creation of the Fluid Balance and AKI study days; we have introduced a new EPR model and also supported smaller projects including the traffic light jug system and zoned nursing. However, there is still more to be done.

Dip or drink poster

The Drip or Drink Hydration Project aims to combat the continuing issue of patient dehydration by promoting colleagues to ask one question about our patients every day: 'Is my patient drinking enough or do we need to consider a drip?'

If the patient is drinking enough to remain hydrated then no action needs to be taken.

However, if the patient is not drinking enough to manage their hydration needs then this must be escalated via the EPR task system or escalation to the clinical team.

This focussed and appropriate escalation to clinical teams should ensure that our patients have their hydration status and their individual needs assessed in a timely manner, safeguarding against ongoing dehydration and the high risk deterioration.

'I have to compliment everyone on their pleasant persona and their expertise and knowledge. By the end of the 5 days, I did not feel as though I had been in a hospital ward and was very relaxed.'

Patient, Ward 16 Orthopaedics, University Hospital of North Durham