Action STAT: Water intoxication
Katherine Atassi RN, CNA,BC, OCN, MSN

February 2008 
Volume 38  Number 2
Pages 72 - 72
  PDF Version Available!


Atassi, Katherine RN, CNA,BC, OCN, MSN

Adjunct Nursing Instructor West Virginia University Institute of Technology, Montgomery, W.Va.

ACCOMPANIED BY A coworker, Lucy Daniels, 28, arrives in the ED with mild confusion, lethargy, nausea, recent weight loss, and polyuria. You escort her to a bed and take her vital signs: BP, 90/60; pulse, 116; respiratory rate, 24; SpO 2 , 93% on room air; and temperature, 98.6[infinity] F (37[infinity] C). You administer supplemental oxygen by nasal cannula, put her on a cardiac monitor, and establish peripheral I.V. access. Ms. Daniels is alert, but oriented to person and place only. She's 5 feet 8 inches (170 cm) tall and weighs 207 pounds (94.1 kg), putting her body mass index at 31.5.

Figure. No caption available. What's the situation?

Ms. Daniels says she's been trying to lose weight for several weeks by eating a 1,800-calorie diet and drinking at least 4 liters of water a day. Over the last 8 weeks, she's lost 14 pounds (6.4 kg). This morning ...

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