Hypovolemia: An Integration of Organ System Physiology

  • D. L. Traber
Conference paper


Hypovolemia is a significant problem for virtually all patients in critical care settings. The human body requires several liters of fluid daily in order to accomplish its function. Disease magnifies this fluid requirement. This need for augmented water intake may be overlooked in the hospital setting, where patients are totally dependent on the clinical team for all of their care. Thus, in many instances hypovolemia may be iatrogenic. There are many pathophysiological states in which the individual loses fluid. Vomiting and diarrhea are classical examples of this, bleeding into the intestinal tract, especially in the duodenal areas, and blood loss as a result of accidents or operative procedures are also common sources of hypovolemia. A good understanding of the protective mechanisms, which are brought into play with hypovolemia, is important to any medical functionary. Furthermore, study of these protective reflexes offers a unique opportunity to review cardiovascular function [1–4].


Cardiac Output Blood Volume Mean Arterial Pressure Venous Return Left Atrial Pressure 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

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  • D. L. Traber

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