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Intravenous Fluids

A Clinical Approach
JAI RADHAKRISHNAN, MD Division of Nephrology

Volume of distribution IV fluid choices available Types of fluid depletion Specific clinical examples and treatment

Volume of Distribution of Water

Solids H 2O


Solids 40% of Wt

Intracellular (2/3)

Extracellular (1/3)

H 2O

H 2O Na


Interstitial 3/4

Intravascular 1/4
H 2O

H2O Na

Colloids & RBC

Third Space
Acute sequestration in a body compartment that is not in equilibrium with ECF Examples:
Intestinal obstruction Severe pancreatitis Peritonitis Major venous obstruction Capillary leak syndrome Burns

Daily Fluid Balance

Intake: 1-1.5L Insensible Loss -Lungs 0.3L -Sweat 0.1 L

Urine: 1.0 to 1.5L

MATH-70 kg male
Total body water=60% body wt =0.6X70=42 liters ECF=1/3 0.3X42=13 liters ICF=2/3 0.6 X42=25 liters

Blood=1/4 (ECF)
0.25X13=3. 3 liters

Principles of Treatment
How much volume?
Need estimate of fluid deficit

Which fluid?
Which fluid compartment is predominantly affected? Need evaluation of other acid/base/electrolyte/nutrition issues.

The IV Fluid Supermarket

Dextrose in water
D5W D10W D50W

5% in NS 25% (Salt Poor)

Isotonic (0.9% or normal) Hypotonic (0.45%, 0.25%) Hypertonic

Dextrans Hetastarch

D51/2NS D5NS D10NS


Ringers lactate physiologic. (K, HCO3, Mg, Ca)

1 Liter 0.9% saline

Total body water

ECF=1 liter


Interstitial=3/4 of ECF=750ml

=1/4 ECF=250 ml

1 liter 5% Dextose

Total body water=1 liter

ECF=1/3 = 300ml

ICF=2/3 = 700ml


=1/4 of ECF~75ml

1 liter 5% Albumin

Intravascular=1 liter

A Comparison of Albumin and Saline for Fluid Resuscitation in the Intensive Care Unit

N Engl J Med. 2004 May 27;350(22):2247-56.

Volume Deficit-Clinical Types

Total body water:
Water loss (diabetes insipidus, osmotic diarrhea)

Salt and water loss (secretory diarrhea, ascites, edema) Third spacing

Acute hemorrhage

Clinical Diagnosis
Intravascular depletion

Hemodynamic effects
BP HR JVP Cool extremities Reduced sweating Dry mucus membranes

E.C.F. depletion
Water Depletion Thirst Hypernatremia
Skin turgor, sunken eyeballs Weight Hemodynamic effects

Example- GI Bleed
A 25 year old patient presents with massive hematemesis (vomiting blood) x 1 hour. He has a history of peptic ulcer disease. Exam: Diaphoretic, normal skin turgor. Supine BP: 120/70 HR 100 Sitting BP: 90/50 HR=140 Serum Na=140 What is the nature of his fluid deficit ?

What IV fluid resuscitation would you prescribe ?

What do you expect the hematocrit to be : - at presentation ? - after 12 hours of Normal Saline treatment?

Example-Diarrhea and Vomiting

A 18 year old previously healthy medical student returns from a Caribbean vacation with a healthy tan and severe diarrhea and vomiting x 48 hours. Sunken eyeballs, poor skin turgor and dry mucus membranes BP 80/70 HR 130 supine. Labs: Na 130 K=2.8
HCO3 =12 ABG: 7.26/26/100

What is the nature of his fluid deficit ? What fluid will you prescribe ? What would happen if D5W were to be used?

Example-Hyperosmolar State
A 85 year old nursing home resident with dementia, and known diabetes was admitted with confusion. Exam: Disoriented BP: 110/70 supine 90/70 sitting. Decreased skin turgor. Labs: Na= 150meq/L Wt=50kgs BUN/Cr=50/1.8 Blood sugar= 1200 mg/dl Hct=45

What is the pathogenesis of her fluid and electrolyte disorder ?

How would you treat her ?

Calculation of Water Deficit

Healthy Osm (P Na) x volume
A 50 kg female with Na=150 Na x Normal Body Water = Na x Current Body Water 140 x NBW = 150 x (0.5 x 50=25 liters)

Dehydrated Osm (P Na) x volume

NBW = 26.8 liters

Water deficit = NBW-CBW= 26.8-25=1.8 liters

A Cirrhotic
A 40-year-old patient with known alcoholic cirrhosis, portal hypertension and ascites is admitted with a rising creatinine. Exam: BP 100/70 (no orthostasis), JVP 5cms, +++ascites, no peripheral edema, +asterixis.

BUN=12mg/dL Creat=2mg/dL Alb=2.0g/dL

Urine lytes: Na=6meq/L, FeNa=0.5% Urine volume has been 200cc/24h.

1. Comment on his fluid status

2. If volume-depleted how would you treat him?

Example-Post Op Abdominal Distension

A 60 year old male with pancreatic carcinoma has undergone total pancreaticoduodenectomy and gastrojejunal bypass.

On post-operative day-3 he develops abdominal distension.BP= 110/60 and HR increases from 100 to 130 on sitting. Bowel sounds are absent.
AXR reveals multiple fluid levels in the abdomen. N-G suction is initiated.

What is the nature of his fluid deficit ? How will you treat ?

A Nutritional Dilemma
The patient is being treated with D5W-NS @ 100ml/hour
(5% dextrose in 0.9% saline) Is the caloric supply adequate ? Total volume=100mlx24h=2400ml Total dextrose (5g/100ml)= 5x24=120g/day

Total calories=
120gx 4kcals/g=480 kcals.

**Use D10W-NS instead**

Crystalloids are generally adequate for most situations needing fluid management. The composition of the solution and rate of administration are important when addressing a specific situation. Colloids may be indicated when more rapid hemodynamic equilibration is required (inadequate data).