Postoperative Fluid, Electrolyte, and Acid/Base Disorders

  • Ross Kerridge
  • Paul J. Primeaux


This chapter will review common disorders of fluids, electrolytes, and pH seen ­postoperatively, particularly in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), or the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU). These common disorders range in sequelae from mild, self-limited conditions to those associated with major organ dysfunction, severe morbidity, and in extreme cases, mortality. Identifying patients at risk for these disturbances and preventing their development is clearly preferable to treating the conditions after they occur. Nevertheless, despite our best efforts, patients will continue to develop these conditions postoperatively, and we must understand the physiological basis of these disturbances, how they may be correctly diagnosed, and the principles of effective treatment.


Obstructive Sleep Apnea Serum Sodium Diabetes Insipidus Malignant Hyperthermia Metabolic Alkalosis 
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Suggested Reading

  1. Ganter MT, Hofer CK, Pittet JF. Postoperative intravascular fluid therapy. In: Miller R, ed. Miller’s Anesthesia. 7th ed. Philadelphia: Churchill Livingstone; 2009: chap 88.Google Scholar
  2. Kaye AD, Riopelle JM. Intravascular fluid and electrolyte physiology. In: Miller R, ed. Miller’s Anesthesia. 7th ed. Philadelphia: Churchill Livingstone; 2009: chap 54.Google Scholar
  3. Postoperative Management. Chapter 14.7. Essential surgical care manual. Online edition. Published by World Health Organization. Available at:­introduction.html

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.John Hunter Hospital & Royal Newcastle CentreUniversity of NewcastleCallaghanAustralia

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