Table of Contents

See also Hypotension


Those patients with significant toxicity or who receive decontamination require intravenous fluids for a number of reasons.

  • It is useful to have intravenous access if significant clinical complications develop.
  • These patients often have relative volume depletion, either due to the co-ingestion of alcohol or due to vasodilatation induced by ingested drugs.
  • Patients who have received activated charcoal containing sorbitol will generally lose fluid into their bowel.

Therefore, most patients should have a litre of normal saline in the first hour and a further litre over the next three to four hours. Patients who are dehydrated or who have taken vasodilating or negatively chronotropic drugs will usually need even more fluid. See 3.1.1 Hypotension