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November 3, 1934


Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, Washington University School of Medicine, and the St. Louis Children's Hospital.

JAMA. 1934;103(18):1349-1354. doi:10.1001/jama.1934.02750440009003

In the early stages of undue loss of water from the body, regardless of the cause of such loss, the composition of the blood in respect to its water content and electrolyte pattern tends to remain unaltered because of the stabilizing or buffering effect of the intercellular fluid of the body. This portion of the body may be looked on as a reservoir which may shrink appreciably in order that changes in the blood and perhaps also in the fixed tissue cells may be kept at a minimum. When, however, the intercellular fluid becomes exhausted, changes do appear in the blood indicative of this exhaustion, and probably also in the fixed tissues themselves. The nature of the changes is largely dependent on the manner in which fluid is lost; sometimes acidosis may accompany dehydration, at other times alkalosis, while occasionally a tendency toward one such change may be almost exactly

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