Emergency and Critical Care
90th FVMA Annual Conference
Fluid therapy is a challenging aspect of patient care, as in the live patient it is much more of an art than science. That said, it helps to know the basic recipe behind fluid therapy choices and how to modify this recipe for an individual patient. This lecture will discuss the components of a fluid rate — maintenance, dehydration and ongoing losses — and how to calculate each of these and navigate the difficulties of estimating the last two components. Choosing a type of fluid is often related to sodium of that fluid, and the patient and the delicate aspects of sodium will be discussed. Making choices between crystalloids and colloids will also be covered, especially as related to resuscitation. There are controversies regarding synthetic colloids that are important to understand and consider when deciding on a fluid therapy plan. Certain fluids, such as hypertonic saline, can be very useful in a select population, such as traumatic brain injury or to improve hypovolemia with a small volume of fluids.