Replace Electrolytes Intensive Care


Replace Electrolytes Intensive Care  

Intensive care units in every hospital have special guidelines and protocols to be followed; especially when it comes to the use and replacement of drugs and different therapies. Likewise, there is a specific procedure and protocol for replacing electrolytes in the intensive care unit or the ICU.

Generally, electrolyte replacement takes place on a periodic basis. Some of the common electrolytes administered are potassium, magnesium, phosphates, iron, and calcium. Fluid electrolyte management is of high importance in a critical care unit. It is required for overall patient safety and also helps the medical authorities and staff improve their efficiency.

It is essential that patients receive the required dose of electrolytes daily. Oral potassium is generally administered in doses of 2 mEq/kg/day. This can be given either in divisions of oral doses or can be added to the tube feedings; although the method of replacement through tube feedings is not recommended always. If the patient in question is one who has been kept on diuretics, then the oral replacement has to be increased.

When it comes to magnesium replacement daily, what is given is generally magnesium sulfate or magnesium oxide, and the preferred quantity is between 400mg and 1 g per day on the basis of the weight of the patient. All these electrolytes have to be given in quantities relative to one another.

The electrolyte calcium is used to treat hypocalcaemia. It causes neuromuscular irritability. But if hypokalemia and hypomagnesaemia occur, these protect against the effects of hypocalcaemia. Patients can be given calcium gluconate intravenously.

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