Intake and Output

Input and output is calculated for a variety of patients in different settings from Intensive Care Units (ICU) to home. The process involves recording all the fluid that goes into the patient and the fluid that leaves the body. Remember in normal conditions the intake should equal output in 24 hours.

Samples of Intake and Output Items to Calculate
Intake Output
Liquids taken PO such as water, juice, milk, etc Urine or liquid feces
Intravenous fluids (IV) such as D5W, D5RL Blood
Feedings via nasograstic or PEG tubes Drainage from wounds or suction

When calculating intake and output, consider all fluids in and out of the body. Having a sheet of paper at the bedside to record intake of fluids is desirable. At the end of the shift, the paper is collected and a new sheet provided.

Practice Problems

           A patient has recorded the following on a sheet of paper at the bedside:

Breakfast: eggs, toast, one cup of coffee (coffee cups at this hospital contains 6 ounces); small orange juice (4 ounces)

Lunch: sandwich, apple, glass of tea (glasses at this hospital contains 8 ounces)

Dinner: chicken, broccoli, rice, 2 glasses of tea

Between meals: 4 glasses of water

1000 mL of D5 W infusing IV at 30 mL/hour

            Calculate the Intake for a 12 hour shift: Note you need to covert ounces to mLs

Item mLs
Coffee 6 oz 180 mL
OJ  4 oz 120 mL
Tea 3 X 8 oz 720 mL
Water 4 X 8 oz 960 mL
IV 30mL x 12 360 mL
Total Intake for 12 hrs 2340 mL

The patient recorded the following amounts voided on the sheet of paper: 400 cc at 7:00 am; 100cc at 10:00 am; 200cc at 12 noon; 150 cc at 2:00 pm; 400cc at 6:00 pm. The nurse emptied 300cc from a JP tube. The patient vomited 100cc at 4:00 pm What is the total output for the 12 hour shift?


Urine 1250
Drainage 300
Emesis 100

Total Output

1650 mLs

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