The Revision Guide for Student Nurses (Part I)

Fluid Therapy

Fluid therapy is defined as the correction of fluid deficits, and is an important aspect in the successful treatment of many medical and surgical conditions.

The objectives of fluid therapy are:

  1. To replace fluid deficits.
  2. To improve and maintain renal function.
  3. To supply maintenance requirements.

Together, the objectives listed above work to restore an ADEQUATE CIRCULATING VOLUME OF FLUID.

This is particularly important in dehydrated animals showing signs of shock.

Fluid therapy is an exceedingly important subject in veterinary nursing. In critical care cases, fluid therapy may well be life saving. It is therefore essential to develop a sound working knowledge of the techniques involved in the selection of the most appropriate fluid for the patient, and the preparation and administration methods involved. It is vital to be able to accurately assess the degree of fluid loss in order to calculate the correct rate of administration.

Learning Objectives
The learning objectives of this chapter are:

  1. To recognise the importance of the water content of the body.
  2. To perform an accurate assessment of dehydration.
  3. To select the most appropriate route for fluid administration.
  4. To recognise the various fluids available for the correction of dehydration and treatment of shock.
  5. To correctly prepare and set up the equipment required for fluid therapy.
  6. To accurately calculate the fluid quantity required and rate of administration.
  7. To gain a basic knowledge regarding blood transfusions.