Protocol-based intravenous fluid hydration for newly created ileostomies decreases readmissions secondary to dehydration


Advocate Lutheran General Hospital


Background: Newly created ileostomies often result in patient readmission due to dehydration secondary to high ostomy output. Implementation of a mandatory home intravenous hydration protocol can avoid this. We aim to evaluate the impact of mandatory home intravenous hydration for patients with newly created ileostomies.

Materials and methods: All patients at a single, tertiary care center who underwent ileostomy creation during a period of sporadic home intravenous hydration (February 2011-December 2013) and mandatory protocol hydration (March 2016-December 2018) were reviewed for incidence of dehydration, readmissions, and emergency department visits.

Results: 241 patients were evaluated. 119 were in the "sporadic" group and 122 were in the "protocol" group. Operative approach differed among both groups, with hydration protocol patients undergoing 15% less open procedures and 4.9% more hand-assisted laparoscopic procedures (P = .0017). Prior to protocol implementation, 23.5% of patients were sent home with intravenous hydration. Length of hospital stay after index ileostomy creation was shorter for "protocol" patients by 3.3 days (P < .0001). 15.1% of "sporadic" patients experienced dehydration as compared to 7.4% of "protocol" patients (P = .0283). Following protocol implementation, the number of patients readmitted due to dehydration increased from 13 to 14 (P = .01).

Discussion: Standardized, mandatory at-home intravenous hydration following ileostomy creation leads to a significant reduction in postoperative incidence of dehydration and dehydration-associated readmissions. This protocol should be followed for all patients with newly created ileostomies, so long as adequate home health nursing support and active surveillance are available.

Document Type


PubMed ID