UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Geriatrics

Title: hypovolemia in the elderly

Keywords: hypovolemia, geriatric, elderly (PubMed Search)

Posted: 3/14/2011 by Amal Mattu, MD (Updated: 1/18/2022)
Click here to contact Amal Mattu, MD

Elderly patients are prone to hypovolemia for the following two major reasons:
1. They have a decreased thirst response.
2. They have decreased renal vasopressin response to hypovolemia.

The result is that elderly patients have an impaired ability to compensate for a decreased cardiac output, which causes them to develop shock earlier and more easily with stressor.

Takeaway point: Always assume that most elderly patients are hypovolemic, and when they are stressed, give them fluids early!
 

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