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  3. 8. Frequency of Hypokalemia in Malnurished Children with Acute Diarrhea
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8. Frequency of Hypokalemia in Malnurished Children with Acute Diarrhea

Mujeeb ur Rehman1, Adeel Khalid1, Muhammad Asif Khan1, Zahid Khan2, Arshad Sohail3 and Irfan Khan4 


Objective: This study aimed to determine the frequency of hypokalemia in malnourished children with acute diarrhea.

Study Design: Cross sectional study.

Place and Duration of Study: This study was conducted at the pediatrics department of Ayub Teaching Hospital Abbottabad for six months from June 2017 to November 2017.

Materials and Methods: After approval from hospital ethical committee, sample size of 96 was calculated using WHO software for sample size determination in health studies by keeping confidence level of 95%, anticipated prevalence of hypokalemia in malnourished patients of 55% and absolute precision of 10%. Children of either gender aged six months to five years admitted in ward fulfilling the inclusion criteria of malnutrition with acute diarrhea were included in this study in a consecutive manner.

Results: Out of 96 patients, 44(45.8%) were male and 52(54.2%) were female. Mean age was 20.65±11.961 months. Hypokalemia was observed in 46 (47.9%) children whereas 50 (52.1%) children had no electrolytes imbalance. The frequency of hypokalemia was analyzed with respected to gender and age groups of the children and the p-values were 0.973 and 0.176 respectively.

Conclusion: In conclusion hypokalemia is a common electrolyte abnormality in children with malnutrition especially during acute diarrheal episodes. Therefore, the treating physician should be very vigilant for this common electrolyte abnormality and serial monitoring of serum potassium level and potassium supplementation should be done in children with malnutrition during acute diarrhea illnesses to avoid life threatening consequences of severe hypokalemia.

Key Words: Malnutrition, hypokalemia, Acute Diarrhea, frequency

Citation of article: Rehman M, Khalid A, Khan MA, Khan Z, Sohail A, Khan I. Frequency of Hypokalemia in Malnurished Children with Acute Diarrhea. Med Forum 2021;32(2):33-36.