A critical aspect of the care of acutely ill patients is the administration of intravenous fluids. Intravenous fluids may be required as a bolus infusion for resuscitation or as a continuous infusion when sufficient fluids cannot be ingested orally.
The goal of maintenance intravenous fluids is to preserve the extracellular volume while maintaining a normal electrolyte balance. An appropriate maintenance fluid provides an adequate quantity of both water and electrolytes to ensure good tissue perfusion without causing complications related to fluid overload or volume depletion. It also prevents the development of hyponatremia, hypernatremia, and other electrolyte imbalances.