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Fluid and Electrolyte Balance

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Jessica Dwork

on 16 October 2018

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Transcript of Fluid and Electrolyte Balance

Functions of Water in the Body
Transporting nutrients to cells and wastes from cells
Transporting hormones, enzymes, blood platelets, and red and white blood cells
Facilitating cellular metabolism and proper cellular chemical functioning
Acting as a solvent for electrolytes and nonelectrolytes
Helping maintain normal body temperature
Facilitating digestion and promoting elimination
Acting as a tissue lubricant
Two Compartments of Fluid in the Body
Intracellular fluid (ICF)—fluid within cells (70%)
Extracellular fluid (ECF)—fluid outside cells (30%)
Includes intravascular and interstitial fluids
Ions- substance capable of breaking into electrically charged ions when dissolved in a solution is called electrolytes
Cations-positive charge
Anions-negative charge
Homeostasis- total cations equal to total anions
Fluid Balance
Solvents—liquids that hold a substance in solution (water)
Solutes—substances dissolved in a solution (electrolytes and non-electrolytes)
Major Electrolytes/Chief Function

Transporting Body Fluids
Source of Fluids for the Body
Primary Organs of Homeostasis
Kidneys normally filter 170 L plasma, excrete 15 L urine
Cardiovascular system pumps and carries nutrients and water in body
Lungs regulate oxygen and carbon dioxide levels of blood
Adrenal glands help body conserve sodium, save chloride and water, and excrete potassium
Thyroid gland increases blood flow in body and increases renal circulation
Parathyroid glands regulate the level of calcium in ECF
GI tract absorbs water and nutrients that enter body though this route
Nervous system is a switchboard to inhibit and stimulate fluid balance (thirst center and ADH storage)
A hypertonic solution has a greater osmolality, causing water to move out of the cells and to be drawn into the intravascular compartment, causing the cell to shrink.
A. True
B. False
A. True
Hypovolemia- proportional loss of fluid and electrolytes from the ECF

Hypervolemia- excessive retention of water and sodium in ECF

Dehydration- negative fluid balance, loss of water

Edema- excessive ECF accumulates in tissue space
Electrolyte Imbalances
Which one of the following electrolyte imbalances occurs due to a sodium deficit in ECF caused by a loss of sodium or gain of water?
A. Hyponatremia
B. Hypernatremia
C. Hypokalemia
D. Hyperkalemia
A. Hyponatremia
Nursing Assessments
Identify patients at risk for imbalances
Determine a specific imbalance is present and its severity, etiology, and characteristics
Determine effectiveness of plan of care
Parameters of assessment:
Nursing history and physical assessment
Fluid intake and output
**Daily weights**
Laboratory studies- BMP, CBC, Urine pH and specific gravity, Arterial blood gases
Risk Factors for Imbalances
Pathophysiology underlying acute and chronic illnesses
Abnormal losses of body fluids:
Therapies that disrupt fluid and electrolyte balance
Nursing Diagnoses Related to Imbalances
Excess fluid volume
Deficient fluid volume
Risk for imbalanced fluid volume
Expected Outcomes
Maintain approximate fluid intake and output balance
Maintain urine specific gravity within normal range
Practice self-care behaviors to promote balance
Dietary modifications
Modifications of fluid intake
Medication administration
IV therapy
Blood and blood products replacement
Administering Medications
Mineral-electrolyte preparations
Intravenous therapy
Treatment or prevention of potassium depletion when dietary means are inadequate
Adverse effects
Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, GI bleeding, ulceration
Excessive administration
Toxic effects
Treatment or prevention of sodium depletion when dietary measures are inadequate
Treated with oral sodium chloride and/or fluid restriction
Treated with intravenous normal saline or lactated Ringer’s solution

Adverse effects
Nausea, vomiting, cramps
Nursing Implications
Assess baseline fluid volume and electrolyte status
Assess baseline vital signs
Assess skin, mucous membranes, daily weights, I&O
Before giving potassium, assess ECG
Assess for contraindications to therapy
Assess transfusion history
Establish venous access as needed
Monitor serum electrolyte levels during therapy
Monitor infusion rate, appearance of fluid or solution, infusion site
Observe for infiltration, other complications of IV therapy
Monitor for therapeutic response
Normal lab values
RBCs, WBC, H&H, electrolyte levels
Improved fluid volume status
Increased tolerance to activities
Monitor for adverse effects

Parenteral infusions of potassium must be monitored closely
Rate should not exceed 20 mEq/hour
NEVER give as an IV bolus or undiluted
Oral forms of potassium
Must be diluted in water or fruit juice to minimize GI distress or irritation
Monitor for complaints of nausea, vomiting, GI pain, or GI bleeding
pH 7.35 - 7.45
< 7.35 is acidosis
> 7.45 is alkalosis
Hyponatremia and hypernatremia
Hypokalemia and hyperkalemia
Hypophosphatemia and hyperphosphatemia
Hypocalcemia and hypercalcemia
Hypomagnesemia and hypermagnesemia
Of all of the following clients, the nurse recognizes that the individual who is most at risk for a fluid volume deficit is:

1.A 6-month-old learning to drink from a cup
2.A 12-year-old who is moderately active in 80° F weather
3.A 42-year-old with severe diarrhea
4.A 90-year-old with frequent headaches
3. A 42-year-old with severe diarrhea
In reviewing the results of the client’s blood work, the nurse recognizes that the unexpected value that should be reported to the health care provider is:

1.Calcium 7.2 mEq/L
2.Sodium 140 mEq/L
3.Potassium 3.5 mEq/L
4.Magnesium 2.1 mEq/L
1.Calcium 7.2 mEq/L
The nurse anticipates that the client with a fluid volume excess will manifest a(n):

1.Increased urine specific gravity
2.Decreased body weight
3.Increased blood pressure
4.Decreased pulse strength
3.Increased blood pressure
Electrolyte Normal Values
Sodium (Na+) 135-145 mEq/L
Potassium (K+) 3.5-5.0 mEq/L
Calcium (Ca +) 8.9-10.1 mg/dL
Magnesium (Mg2+) 1.5-2.5 mEq/L
Chloride (Cl-) 96-106 mEq/L
Phosphate (PO4-) 2.5-4.5 mg/dL
Fluid Balance & Electrolytes
A patient is diaphoretic and has an oral temperature of 104° F. These are classic signs of:
A. ADH deficit.
B. extracellular fluid loss.
C. insensible water loss.
D. sensible water loss.

A senior student nurse delegates the task of intake and output to a new nursing assistant. The student will verify that the nursing assistant understands the task of I&O when the nursing assistant states,
A. “I will record the amount of all voided urine.”
B. “I will not count liquid stools as output.”
C. “I will not record a café mocha as intake.”
D. “I will notate perspiration and record it as a small or large amount.”


Sodium: controls and regulates volume of body fluids
Potassium: chief regulator of cellular enzyme activity and water content
Calcium: nerve impulse, blood clotting, muscle contraction, B12 absorption
Magnesium: metabolism of carbohydrates and proteins, vital actions involving enzymes
Chloride: maintains osmotic pressure in blood, produces hydrochloric acid
Bicarbonate: body’s primary buffer system
Phosphate: involved in important chemical reactions in the body, cell division, and hereditary traits

Major Electrolytes/Chief Function
Osmosis: water passes from an area of lesser solute concentration to greater concentration until equilibrium is established

Diffusion: tendency of solutes to move freely throughout a solvent (“downhill”)

Active transport: requires energy for movement of substances through the cell membrane from the lesser solute concentration to the higher solute concentration

Filtration: passage of fluid through a permeable membrane from the area of higher to lower pressure

When a client’s serum K+ level is 3.0 mEq/L, the priority nursing assessment is to monitor the status of which body system?

In a healthy adult, which of the following regulate(s) body fluids? Choose all that apply.
a.Hormone levels
b.Fluid intake
c.Oxygen saturation
d.Kidney function

ANS: 1, 2, 4

A client experiencing acute congestive heart failure (CHF) is likely to present with which of the following clinical signs? (Select all that apply.)

a) Flat neck veins
b) Bilateral crackles
c) +2 ankle edema bilaterally
d) Urine output of 790 mL in 24 hours
e) History of a 5-pound weight gain in 3 days
f) Systemic blood pressure 15 mm Hg above usual baseline

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