Third-space fluid shift, the movement of body fluid to a non-functional space, is a frequently occurring and potentially fatal clinical phenomenon. Little published research exists however in medical or nursing journals concerning its incidence, significance and ramifications in elderly patients undergoing major gastrointestinal surgery. This initial article, part I, explores fluid movement between fluid compartments and uses these principles to discuss the pathophysiology of the two distinct phases of third-space fluid shift. Part II will examine the criteria nurses could use in the clinical assessment of patients in both first and second phases third-space fluid shift and discuss the clinical reliability of these criteria.
|Number of pages
|Contemporary nurse : a journal for the Australian nursing profession
|Published - Jun 2002