Fluid Replacement

The amount of water a patient requires each day depends on the patient's age and the nature of the patient's medical condition. Water is 30 mL/kg of body weight.

A patient who weighs 70 kg has 2100 mL of water (70 kg x 30 mL/kg). In other words, a patient who weighs 150 lbs weighs 68 kg (150 lbs/2.2 lbs/kg) and has 2240 mL of water.

Each day the patient losses:

• 400 mL to 500 mL of water through evaporation from the skin.

• 400 mL to 500 mL of water through breathing.

This means that each day the patient must take in between 1900 mL and 2400 mL of fluid in order to maintain fluid-electrolyte balance. However, disease and the treatment of disease can increase the patient's output of water requiring that the patient increase the intake of water.

For example, a patient who has a fever loses as much as 15% more water than the normal daily water loss. That is, the patient loses between 2185 mL and 2760 mL of water each day when he or she has a fever.

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