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Article
July 1950

SERUM AND URINARY POTASSIUM IN SURGICAL PATIENTS

Author Affiliations

WINFIELD, KAN.

Arch Surg. 1950;61(1):62-75. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1950.01250020065008
Abstract

THE IMPORTANCE of potassium in the management of surgical patients has been recognized only in the last few years. While some of the indications for potassium therapy in surgical patients are now definitely established, there is lack of agreement on whether or not parenteral potassium therapy should be used in cases showing minor degrees of depression of the serum potassium levels and on whether or not potassium should be added routinely to the fluids given parenterally in major surgical cases. It has been shown that there is a negative potassium balance incidental to surgical operation,1 and other forms of stress,2 accounted for only in part by catabolic loss. It has also been demonstrated that the intravenous administration of fluids in itself leads to increased potassium loss. Stewart and Rourke3 and others have shown that this potassium loss is greater with the administration of sodium chloride solution than

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