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Inappropriate fluid therapy and surgical stress further decrease renal ability to excrete water. This results in hyponatraemia in the elderly, who tend to have a precarious homeostatic equilibrium. There is a high incidence of post-perative hyponatraemia in elderly patients undergoing surgery. We scrutinised biochemistry records, notes and fluid charts in 227 patients who had undergone treatment for hip fractures. Patients with a possible medical cuase for hyponatraemia (25) were excluded. The group of 202 patients had an average age of 77.8 years. We noted an incidence of 17.8% of mild hyponatraemia and 4.4% of severe hyponatraemia. A high index of clinical suspicion and sound knowledge of fluid balance can prevent this potentially serious complication.

Type

Journal article

Journal

HIP International

Publication Date

01/01/2001

Volume

11

Pages

158 - 160