Electrolyte Balance - Sodium : Nursing Course


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Controlling fluid, electrolyte, and acid-base balances in the body is the job of the:

kidneys

Rationale: The balance of water in the body is achieved by assuring that the amount of water that is ingested equals that amount of water that is excreted. The amount of fluid that we ingest is regulated by our behaviors, such as the cravings for water and food. The excretion portion of the process is controlled and regulated by the kidneys. The main way that the kidneys can directly control the volume of bodily fluids is by the amount of water excreted in the urine. Either the kidneys can conserve water by producing urine that is concentrated like plasma, or they can rid the body of excess water by producing urine that is diluted.


When a patient is hypernatremic because of vomiting and diarrhea, the main treatment is:

fluid replacement

Rationale: Treating hypernatremia requires focus on correcting the underlying situation. For most patients, this is usually fluid replacement. For mild hypernatremia, the fluid may be replaced orally by encouraging patients to drink an increased amount of fluids. IV fluids may also be necessary to replenish the fluid directly into the body a little more quickly. For complex hypernatremia, which may occur with patients that have an extensive past medical history, dialysis may be required. As a nurse, it is essential to monitor sodium levels, and closely administer fluids based on the results. It is important to not over hydrate the patient to avoid other medical complications.


Patients that have mild hyponatremia should be placed on:

fluid restrictions

Rationale:

A patient that has had an excessive amount of fluid intake is at risk of developing:

hyponatremia

Rationale:

The most abundant electrolyte in the extracellular fluid that plays an important role in fluid balance is:

sodium

Rationale:

When caring for a patient that has had vomiting and diarrhea for 2 days, you recognize that they are at a high risk of developing:

hypernatremia

Rationale:

Treatment for severe hyponatremia is to administer:

hypertonic saline (3% NaCl)

Rationale:

The normal range of sodium that should be present in the body is:

135-145 mEq/L

Rationale:

The main symptoms that a patient with hypernatremia may present with are:

thirsty, tachycardic, and lethargic

Rationale:

Severe hyponatremia, with a sodium level below 110mEq/L, can result in:

permanent neurological damage

Rationale:

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