Fluid balance is essential for stability. It is achieved through complex mechanisms involving nearly all organ systems.
Volume and fluid composition problems are common in disease states. Their correction is often vital and must be done quickly on behalf of cerebral perfusion. The clinician must be aware of the variety of derangements that can occur in various pathologic situations and be ready to manage them promptly and accurately. Fluid management is exceedingly detailed work, as it requires the calculation or estimation of spaces, volumes, and shifts. Even though it can be tedious for some, the challenge of the task and the rewards of precise decisions are as rewarding as, well...life itself.
Fluids are discussed under the Renal Section for the sake of organization. However, as stated above, all organ systems are involved in and affected by volume and fluid composition regulation issues.