What is the best way to evaluate and manage diarrhea in the febrile infant?
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Routine infant diarrhea requires no lab work or cultures (strength of recommendation [SOR]: C); the degree of dehydration can be determined reliably by percent body weight change (SOR: B). However, bicarbonate may help rule out dehydration (SOR: B); electrolytes and blood urea nitrogen may be useful in evaluating complicated diarrhea with severe dehydration or when intravenous fluids are required; stool cultures are indicated for bloody or prolonged diarrhea, suspected food poisoning, or recent travel abroad (SOR: C).
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