Press release – July 10 2018
Local health and care services have launched a summer hydration campaign across Herefordshire this week to remind residents and patients to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
The launch of this year’s hydration campaign follows a prolonged period of high temperatures and the hottest spells so far this year.
Even temperatures above twenty degrees can see vulnerable people, including children, the elderly and people with long term conditions, becoming dehydrated and being admitted to hospital.
Wye Valley NHS Trust, Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (HCCG) and Herefordshire Council are working together to spread the message across the county, in leisure centres, GP surgeries, and in local hospitals, care centres and healthcare staff visiting people in the community.
Helen Richardson, Chief Nursing Officer at Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Every year people become seriously unwell as a result of dehydration and are admitted to hospital. Vulnerable groups such as the elderly, babies, children and people with long term health conditions or in care are most at risk and they need to drink more water than usual, even if they do not feel thirsty.
“To stay hydrated adults should aim to drink approximately eight (200ml) glasses of water a day and drink more fluids during warmer weather or when exercising. Eat more fresh fruit and vegetables and limit coffee and alcohol intake as they can dehydrate you.
“The fluids intake for infants and children varies according to their age and other factors, so we advise that parents and carers ensure infants and children are offered regular fluids throughout the day”.
Amy Allen, Wye Valley NHS Trust dietitian, said: “It’s important for patients to stay hydrated in hospital and also when they return home to help with their recovery.
“As part of this year’s campaign, our dietitians are visiting patient wards at Hereford County Hospital, Ross, Leominster and Bromyard Community Hospitals, to remind patients and staff to drink enough fluids to stay hydrated.
“We’re also advising patients to check their urine colour to see if they are hydrated enough. Urine colour says a lot about our hydration. Generally, the lighter the colour, the more hydrated you are. More concentrated and darker urine is a sign of dehydration.
“We have a number of measures in place in our hospitals to monitor and encourage patients to drink plenty of fluid during their hospital admission, including a method for highlighting who is at risk of dehydration, different cups/glasses for those who struggle to drink and individual patient fluid balance charts to monitor fluid intake”.
Dehydration symptoms can include: feeling thirsty, confusion, dizziness when you stand up that doesn't go away, not peeing for eight hours, a weak or rapid pulse, and fits (seizures). For children under five years old this can include: seeming drowsy, breathing fast, few or no tears when they cry, a soft spot on their head that sinks inwards (sunken fontanelle), a dry mouth, dark-yellow pee or cold and blotchy-looking hands and feet.
If you suspect that someone is dehydrated ensure they are drinking enough fluids and if they are being sick or have diarrhoea and are losing too much fluid, contact your GP. If you suspect they are severely dehydrated go to the Emergency Department or if they need an ambulance call 999.
Hints and tips to stay hydrated
- Keep a drinks bottle handy to encourage you to drink wherever and whenever
- Encourage vulnerable people, including children, the elderly and people with long term conditions, to drink plenty of fluids
- Remember to drink more when you exercise or spend time in hot environments
- Set reminders on your phone, watch or email to have a drink regularly
- Add a slice of lemon, lime and/or basil to your water to give it some extra flavour
- Eat more fresh fruit and vegetables and water rich foods
Note to Editors:
Wye Valley NHS Trust is a provider health services across Herefordshire and beyond.
The Trust exists to improve the wellbeing, independence and health of the people we serve. We are the leading provider of health care in Herefordshire.
By working closely with our partners, we can make good our promise to deliver a quality of care we would want for ourselves, our families and our friends.
With an estimated annual turnover of around £180 million, we employ around 2,700 plus staff. We aim to build new relationships between our staff, patients, service users and their carers with the wider community.
For further information please contact:
Wye valley NHS Trust communications team 01432 372928 or 01432 355444 x5105.