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Hypernatraemia in an adult in-patient population

Long, C. A., Marin, P., Bayer, Antony James, Shetty, H. G. M. and Pathy, M. S. J. 1991. Hypernatraemia in an adult in-patient population. Postgraduate Medical Journal -London- 67 (789) , pp. 643-645. 10.1136/pgmj.67.789.643

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We report a retrospective study of hypernatraemia (serum sodium concentration> 150 mmol/l) in an adult in-patient population of a health district during one year. The incidence was 0.3% with at least 60% of cases developing after hospital admission, mainly in elderly patients. Dehydration appeared to be the major cause, with the use of diuretics, depressed conscious level or febrile illness implicated in a majority. Most patients had more than one contributory factor and iatrogenic causes were common. Associated illnesses were often severe and the in-hospital mortality was high (54%) regardless of age. Hypernatraemia in hospitalized patients should be largely avoidable and there is a need for greater awareness of the importance of active maintenance of hydration in susceptible patients.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group
ISSN: 0032-5473
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 05:15

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