The Answers to all the Questions!

I don’t know about you, but flash cards or reference cards really help me to remember information.  So, here is a handout with reference cards.  Each card displays the signs and symptoms of each electrolyte imbalance to help you remember what to look for.

Below are the questions I’ve asked with each post, along with the answers.  How did you do?

1. Fluids comprise what percentage of body weight?  60%

2. What is oncotic pressure?  The osmotic pressure exerted by colloids (proteins), holds the water in a compartment, “pulls” water into the compartment

3. What is hydrostatic pressure?  A mechanical type of pressure exerted by a stationary fluid within a closed system,  “pushes” fluid into a compartment

4. Define the following dehydrations:

  • Mild-  loss of 2% of body weight
  • Moderate-  loss of 5% of body weight
  • Severe-  loss of 8% of body weight
  • Isotonic-  balanced loss of fluids and electrolytes
  • Hypotonic-  electrolyte loss is greater than fluid loss
  • Hypertonic-  fluid loss is greater than electrolyte loss

5. Define hypervolemia.  Excess fluid in the vascular system

6. Define third-spacing.  Excess fluid in the interstitial spaces

7. What is the equation used to determine the appropriate amount of fluid output for a patient?  0.5 mL/kg/hr of urine output

8. What are the critical levels related to imbalances in sodium?  Less than 115 mEq/L, greater than 155 mEq/L

9. What is the primary reason for hypocalcemia?  Lack of albumin

10. Differentiate between Trousseau’s and Chvostek’s signs.  Trousseau’s- inflated blood pressure cuff causes the hand to form a claw; Chvostek’s- tapping the facial nerve causes the upper lip to spasm

11. What medication must a nurse have on hand when treating patients with hypermagnesemia?  Calcium

12. Which other electrolyte is phosphate related to and how?  Calcium, they have an inverse relationship


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