41 Comments

  1. sammy patel

    Hypotonic solution is 0.18% normal saline and 4% dextrose -so if you remove 200 ml from a 11000ml 5% dextrose (glucose IV solution ) and replace that with 200 ml of IV Normal saline (0.9% ) you get a 0.18% in 4% glucose hypotononic solution

  2. Mac Viyazhi

    Very imformative, but what’s the difference between isotonic fluids and hypotonic fluids?,…..and in each case may you state when and why should a nurse decide to administer either an isotonic or a hypotonic fluid.

  3. Eri

    How about 1/3 NS or D2.5W? Are those not hypotonic? I’m confused.
    Oh and the way you explained poptosis made me think about the po in hypotonic as pop which helps me remember that the cell swells because the fluid goes inside it! Thanks for that. I always tend to it but this way I will never forget it!

  4. Samantha

    Thank you so much for the clear and concise explanation!

    I’m a medical student trying to get my head around fluid loss and dehydration, and this was the perfect article to aid my understanding.

  5. Eva Marzan

    Thank you so much! I have an exam in a couple days, and you really cleared this up for me. Excellent work, keep it up!

  6. Fahmida

    thanks for the article.it is very much helpful.now i would like to know is it available everywhere &what are the indications?

  7. Dory

    Hello Nicole,
    Your post very nice!!!
    Still, I don’t understand something:
    You wrote: “The 5% Dextrose in Water is really isotonic (see more about that in my next article). However, once the dextrose (aka sugar) has been absorbed by the body, then only plain water is left in the intravascular space. And plain water is clearly hypotonic, so it can have the same effect on the body as 0.45% Saline.”

    I would like to understand why we can not say that about the normal saline for example?
    the electrolytes absorbed and the water is left as hypotonic.

  8. Kathy

    Thank you so much for this. You make it so much easier to understand. I just have one question. When someone is dehydrated, why do we have them drink Gatorade and children Pedialyte? That’s confusing to me:-(

    • Great question. Most often, the dehydration involves loss of water AND electrolytes. And example would be vomiting or diarrhea (especially in kids). Vomiting and diarrhea cause the body to lose water (which can lead to the dehydration), but they ALSO cause the body to lose electrolytes. So we need to use an intervention that will replace both, which Pedialyte or Gatorade can do.

  9. Jack

    Thank you so much for this article! This is the first time I actually understand this topic. You should become a teacher, if you aren’t already.

    • Thank you so much for the compliment! I love teaching, but much prefer to teach through Your Nursing Tutor rather than in a University setting…gives me much more flexibility to focus on the trickiest topics for nursing school, and helps me keep my “finger on the pulse” of nursing students across the country.

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