If A Patient Who Has Had Major Abdominal Surgery Receives Intravenous Fluids Equal To The Blood Volume Lost During Surgery, Would You Expect Urine Volume To Be Greater Or Less Than Normal? Why?


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Abi Ainscough Profile
Abi Ainscough answered
In a scenario such as this, you would expect the patient's urine volume to be much lower than normal - in fact, the patient might not produce any fluid at all. There are two main reasons for this, namely that the kidneys are under a lot of stress, and that fluids other than blood need to be replaced into the body.

  • Reason one: The kidneys are under a great deal of stress

During and after the operation, the patient's body has lost a great deal of fluids. Although blood may be the main fluid the patient has lost, other fluids may also have been lost. As a result, the patient's kidneys will be under a great deal of stress, attempting to filter toxins out of the blood with very little fluids to aid the process.

For a number of hours after the intravenous fluids have been administered, the patient's kidneys will be "confused", so to speak, and will need time to adjust in order to function properly and to produce normal volumes of urine.

  • Reason two: Replacing lost blood does not provide hydration

As stated above, fluids other than blood will have been lost from the body during surgery. While it is very important for any lost blood to be replaced, simply replacing blood will not fulfill all of the patient's bodily needs. If the only fluid administered to the patient is blood, then the patient will become dehydrated, which could make them very ill.

  • What are intravenous fluids?

The word "intravenous" literally means "into a vein", so intravenous fluids are and fluids which can be fed into the bloodstream via a vein. Blood is an intravenous fluid. Another type of fluid which can be administered intravenously is parenteral nutrition fluids, which are fluids containing vitamins and minerals, and are administered to patients who cannot eat or digest food.

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