daily weight, fluid balance, fluid monitoring, intake and output, patient monitoring, vital signs



  1. Wise, Lowell C. RN, DNSc
  2. Mersch, Joan RN, MS
  3. Racioppi, Julie RN, MS
  4. Crosier, Janice RN, MBA
  5. Thompson, Christine RN, MS


During times of scarce resources available for providing patient care, it becomes necessary to validate the effectiveness of standard practices that consume caregivers' time and efforts. Three nurse managers of nursing units serving diverse patient populations studied the effectiveness of continuous intake and output in estimating daily fluid balance. They examined 48-hour records of daily weight and intake and output of 73 patients and correlated the two. Their findings suggest that even when caregiver charting compliance is optimal, daily intake and output recording provides unreliable results. The authors recommend daily weights alone be adopted for all patients who are not experiencing acute renal conditions.