Dietary Restrictions Patients should be counseled to avoid caffeine, sorbitol-containing chewing gum, lactose, and raw fruits until after the diarrhea subsides. Disposition
Patients with the noninfectious emergencies outlined above warrant hospitalization. Most other patients can be discharged home safely. When deciding whether to admit a patient with diarrhea, conservatism should be the rule with the young and the elderly. They do have higher morbidity and mortality rates and should be evaluated with a careful eye. Regardless of age, any toxic patient should be admitted, as should any patient who cannot convincingly comply with oral rehydration guidelines. Upon discharge, patients with infectious diarrhea should be counseled on limiting the spread of disease through the use of judicious hand washing. Work excuses should be given liberally to patients employed in the food, day care, and health care industries.
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