Original communication| Volume 1, ISSUE 4, P589-594, April 1937

Edema in surgical patients

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      Returning to our original three questions in summary, it can safely be stated, from the study of these cases, that the patient most likely to develop surgical edema is one subjected to starvation associated with an infection such as peritonitis. Edema need not be expected if the total serum protein is not permitted to fall below the critical level, and if the intake of sodium chloride is not excessive. Edema appeared only in those cases of prolonged and serious illness, and for this reason the occurrence of edema in any surgical patient is one of the many signs suggesting the seriousness of the illness and a possibly unfavorable outcome. When the development of this complication occurs or is imminent, as shown by blood protein depletion, repeated transfusions are indicated. If edema develops, the intake of sodium chloride should be immediately discontinued. A 5 per cent dextrose solution may be given to supply the necessary liquid.
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