Hypovolemia Treatment - What is Hypovolemia?
Hypovolemic shock is a particular form of shock in which the heart is unable to supply enough blood to the body. It is caused by blood loss or inadequate blood volume. Hypovolemia (also hypovolaemia) is a state of decreased blood volume; more specifically, decrease in volume of blood plasma. Blood loss can be due to bleeding from cuts or other injury or internal bleeding such as gastrointestinal tract bleeding.
Losing about 1/5 or more of the normal amount of blood in your body causes hypovolemic shock. A low blood volume can result in multiple organ failure, kidney damage and failure, brain damage, coma and death. Low fluid intake, extensive vomiting, and severe diarrhea are common causes of dehydration. Traumatic accidents, chronic illnesses and surgery can all cause internal bleeding.
Let's start with an obvious example: someone's arm gets ripped off and blood is pouring from the shoulder stump. That person is losing blood and will soon become hypovolemic because his body won't be able to produce enough blood to make up for what he's losing.
Symptoms may include hypovolemia cold hands and feet, light headache, frequent urination, increased heart rate, and weakness. Blood transfusion coupled with surgical repair is the definitive treatment for hypovolemia caused by trauma. Keep the person warm and comfortable. Do not give liquids by mouth. If the person has an allergic reaction, to treat allergic reactions. The use of intravenous fluids (IVs) may help compensate for the loss of fluid volume, but IV fluids can not transport of oxygen in the way blood can. Oral fluids including moderate sugars and rich in electrolytes is needed to replenish the organism of lost sodium ions.
The treatment of patients with hypovolemic shock often begins at an accident scene or at home. The prehospital care team should work to prevent further injury, transport the patient to the hospital as rapidly as possible, and initiate appropriate treatment in the field. Direct pressure should be applied to external bleeding vessels to prevent further blood loss.
- Prevention of further injury applies mostly to the patient with trauma. The cervical spine must be immobilized, and the patient must be extricated, if applicable, and moved to a stretcher. Splinting of fractures can minimize further neurovascular injury and blood loss.
- Although in selected cases stabilization may be beneficial, rapid transport of sick patients to the hospital remains the most important aspect of prehospital care. Definitive care of the hypovolemic patient usually requires hospital, and sometimes surgical, intervention. Any delay in definitive care, eg, such as delayed transport, is potentially harmful.