Fluids Blog

What Does It Mean to Tolerate Fluids?

Question: What does “unable to tolerate oral fluids for more than 48 hours” really mean? Does it refer to persistent vomiting and diarrhea?

Survival Med’s Answer: When we say someone can’t handle liquids, it means they’re throwing up everything they try to drink.

So, if you hear about “unable to tolerate oral fluids for more than 48 hours,” it’s about persistent vomiting.

Now, having episodes of vomiting and diarrhea for two days straight might not necessarily be an immediate evacuation situation.

It becomes more critical when the vomiting is severe enough that the person can’t keep anything down. That’s when dehydration becomes a real concern, and evacuation might be required to get them proper medical help. The key is understanding if the person is losing fluids to a point where it’s hard for them to stay hydrated for an extended time.