Understand the Signs and Symptoms of Hypovolemia to Prevent Medical Emergencies

Orthostatic Hypotension

Orthostatic hypotension is one of several signs and symptoms of hypovolemia. Hypotension is the medical term for low blood pressure. Orthostatic hypotension is when the blood pressure drops as a person stands up from a sitting position (NINDS). Because hypovolemia can cause low blood pressure, orthostatic hypotension is associated with hypovolemia (Schmidt, 2000).

Tachycardia

Hypovolemia can interfere with the amount of blood that the heart can pump and deliver to other organs in the body. This means that hypovolemia can cause a number of signs and symptoms related to the heart. One of the signs and symptoms of hypovolemia is tachycardia (Nursing, 2000). Tachycardia is the medical term for rapid heartbeat (Mayo Clinic).

Poor Skin Turgor

Another one of the signs and symptoms of hypovolemia is poor skin turgor (Schmidt, 2000). Poor skin turgor is the skin’s inability to be stretched or moved and then return quickly to normal (University of Maryland Medical Center). Because hypovolemia is associated with fluid depletion, poor skin turgor results from the lack of fluid and the reduced blood volume in the body.

Temperature Increase

Body temperature is regulated by a number of factors. Changes in perspiration, fluid intake, fluid loss, and related measures can cause the body temperature to rise or fall. Another sign of this condition is a slight increase in body temperature. This can be explained by the fluid imbalance or blood loss that can cause hypovolemia (Schmidt, 2000).

References

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. "NINDS Orthostatic Hypotension Information Page." Retrieved December 1, 2008. Available: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Schmidt, T.C. "Assessing a Sodium and Fluid Imbalance." Nursing (2000, January).

Mayo Clinic. Heart Disease Learning Channel. "Tachycardia." Retrieved December 1, 2008. Available: Mayo Clinic

University of Maryland Medical Center. Medical Reference Encyclopedia. "Skin Turgor – Overview." Retrieved December 1, 2008. Available: University of Maryland Medical Center