The positives and negatives of preoperative electrolyte disturbances
Keywords:pre-operative electrolyte disturbances, positives, negatives
The physiological principles of fluid and electrolyte management are well described. However, a gap exists between theoretical knowledge and clinical practice, especially with respect to postponement of surgery. This article seeks to address the recommendations with respect to the most common electrolyte abnormalities that may result in postponement of surgery (namely sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium). Patients are subject to large fluid shifts in theatre, and postoperatively. Surgical patients often present with acute or chronic renal injury, they are often sedated, fasted, and may have intravenous fluid infusions prescribed for extended periods. Preoperative bowel obstruction or bowel preparation can result in profound dehydration, and therefore electrolyte abnormalities occur commonly.1-3
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