Fluid and Electrolytes study guide.docx

Fluid and Electrolytes study guide.docx - Fluid and...

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Fluid and Electrolytes Definition Fluid and electrolytes: refers to the process of regulating the extracellular fluid volume, body fluid osmolality, and plasma concentrations of electrolytes . Fluid is water plus the substances dissolved and suspended in it. o Important characteristics of fluid are its volume (amount) and its degree of concentration (osmolality). Electrolytes are substances that are charged particles (ions) when they are placed in water. o Examples of electrolytes are sodium ions (Na + ), potassium ions (K + ), calcium ions (Ca 2+ ), and magnesium ions (Mg 2+ ). In health care settings, people often omit the word “ion” when discussing electrolytes, referring to potassium ions as “potassium,” for example. All body fluids contain electrolytes; body fluids in different locations normally contain different concentrations of electrolytes that are necessary for optimal function. Maintaining physiological balance of body fluid and electrolytes is a dynamic interplay between three processes: intake and absorption, distribution, and output. o Intake and absorption: refers to the addition of fluid and electrolytes to the body (intake) and their movement into the blood (absorption). o Distribution: is the process of moving fluid and electrolytes between the various body fluid compartments. These fluid compartments include inside the cells ( intracellular ) and outside the cells ( extracellular ). The extracellular fluid (ECF) compartment includes fluid between the cells ( interstitial ) and fluid inside blood vessels ( vascular ). o Output is removal of fluid and electrolytes from the body, through normal or abnormal routes. Intake of fluid and electrolytes influences output to some degree, but intake can easily become less than or more than output. Optimal fluid and electrolyte balance keeps the volume, osmolality, and electrolyte concentrations of fluid in the various body fluid compartments within their normal physiological ranges. Scope Ranges from optimal balance to imbalance Fluid and electrolyte imbalances can be too little, too much, or misplaced Conceptually, fluid balance has two aspects: extracellular volume and osmolality. Electrolyte balance requires separate consideration. Extracellular fluid volume, body fluid osmolality, and plasma electrolyte concentrations each can be visualized as a continuum with three categories: optimal balance and two types of imbalances A. Scope of extracellular fluid volume B. Scope of body fluid osmolality balance C. Scope of electrolyte balance
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Normal Physiological Process The three physiological processes whose interplay creates fluid and electrolyte balance were defined previously: intake and absorption, distribution, and output. This discussion describes these processes in more detail.
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