2500 ml daily
Figure 2-7. Summary chart for normal fluid loss.
2-11. ABNORMAL FLUID LOSS
There are seven means of abnormal fluid loss from the body, and these are
generally quite apparent to the individual. Vomiting and diarrhea are the most frequent
a. Vomiting. A person who experiences severe vomiting not only loses the
fluids taken orally, he also loses the gastric fluids (or juices) that are secreted into the
stomach. These juices are rich in electrolytes. For example, a liter of gastric juice
contains about 50 mEq of bicarbonate.
b. Diarrhea. Diarrhea (loose, watery stools) frequently accompanies vomiting
when people have "bugs" or the "flu." Diarrhea is not only very uncomfortable and
unpleasant, it accounts for a large loss of body fluids. A loss of electrolytes (sodium,
potassium, chloride and others) is accompanied by the digested nutrients present in the
diarrhea that is not absorbed by the body. For this reason, a severe bout of diarrhea is
followed by general weakness.
c. Severe Perspiration. Severe perspiration that follows strenuous exercise in
a hot environment can cause loss of electrolytes as well as heavy loss of fluid. Heat
injuries can result.
d. Severe Burns. In very severe or widespread burns, the loss of protection by
the skin allows body fluids to seep from the burned skin. This is a very serious effect of
burns. The fluid and electrolytes must be replaced. Fluids and electrolytes can seep
from the burns as fast as or faster than replacement fluids are administered.
e. Gastric Suction. Gastric suction of the stomach produces an effect similar to
severe vomiting. Before long, the patient will lose a tremendous amount of electrolytes
along with the fluids.