Bedside evaluation of a patient’s intravascular volume status is challenging, even for the seasoned practitioner. There is no single diagnostic test to determine whether a patient is hypovolemic, hypervolemic, or euvolemic. Often, underlying or concomitant disease states, medications, and other therapeutics can make available data difficult to interpret. Therefore, a combination of clinical evaluation, laboratory studies, and other diagnostics are required to make a clinical judgment regarding volume status. Patients who demonstrate alterations in their volume status are likely to have electrolyte abnormalities as well, and assessment of serum electrolyte values and potential therapeutic interventions is a vital piece in caring for critically ill patients.
Advanced Assessment| October 01 2004
Assessment of Fluids and Electrolytes
Heidi Nebelkopf Elgart, RN, MSN, CRNP
From St Luke’s Hospital, Department of Trauma, Bethlehem, Pa.
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AACN Adv Crit Care (2004) 15 (4): 607–621.
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Heidi Nebelkopf Elgart; Assessment of Fluids and Electrolytes. AACN Adv Crit Care 1 October 2004; 15 (4): 607–621. doi:
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