Document Type : Original Article
College of Nursing, University of Mosul, Mosul, Iraq
Background: Disturbances in fluid and electrolyte balance are common clinical issues encountered in the intensive care unit (ICU), and recent studies have shown that they can lead to increased morbidity and mortality rates among critically ill patients.
Objectives: This study aims to monitor patients' fluid and electrolyte imbalances post-operatively throughout their ICU stay.
Methods: The study design involved monitoring the patients' intake and output of fluids and electrolytes during their ICU stay from November 1st, 2022, until July 13th, 2023. This was carried out using a systematic approach that accounted for the patients' general health characteristics and included relevant information related to the patients' surgical history, duration of surgery, complications post-anesthesia, and the type of surgical intervention.
Results: The study revealed that 55.6% of the patient sample had surgery that lasted 1-3 hours. The majority of patients complained of apnea post-anesthesia, and laparotomy intervention was the most common surgical operation (37.7%). Major surgeries accounted for 95.6% of the interventions, while minor surgeries only accounted for 4.4%.
Conclusion: The study highlights that fluid and electrolyte imbalances are major problems in post-operative patients, particularly those admitted to the ICU. The most common complications related to fluid and electrolyte imbalance in ICU patients were either hypertension or hypotension, with a consequent deterioration of the patients' overall health status.