Measuring Intake and Output


  • Appropriate devices for measuring input (measuring cup, syringe, medication cup, kidney basin or water pitcher)
  • Appropriate measuring container for each type of output being measured, marked in ml.
  • Fluid balance sheet
  • Bedside intake and output worksheet
  • Clean gloves

What to do:

  1. Gather necessary equipment and label with patient’s name
  2. Place the intake and output record (labelled with sources of fluid I&O) and am IV flow sheet, if used in the patient’s medical record.
  3. Perform hand washing.
  4. Confirm Patient’s identity (Name and Birthday)
  5. Explain the process of measuring I&O to the patient and his family.
  6. Alert staff of the need to measure I&O.

Fluid Intake:

  1. Note the time, amount, and type of IV solution or tube feeding on the I&O sheet and on the other appropriate flowsheet.
  2. Measure and record amount of oral fluids ingested, type and amount of instillations and how administered, the amount of medication in liquid, amount of medications and normal saline flushes, amount of medications and water flushes through GI tube.

Fluid Output:

  1. Do hand hygiene.
  2. Wear clean gloves.
  3. Measure urine in graduated container and record
  4. If the patient has an indwelling urinary catheter, open the clamp on the drainage bag, allow urine to flow into the container without touching the drain to the sides of the container and record amount. Close and secure clamp.
  5. Nota Bene* Record: Color, clarity, and odor of urine.

I have few pointers to note as well. It is important to know if the urine of the patient is adequate in comparison with the patient’s fluid intake. Make sure to relay alarming signs to the doctor on duty.

Note: In general for adults, Urine output is adequate if it is 0.5 cc/ kg/ hr. (Dr. Infante, 2020)