Patient’s presentation with electrolyte imbalances in an emergency department


eMediNexus    17 December 2022

Understanding Fluid and electrolyte balance are crucial for maintaining homeostasis and for the successful treatment of many metabolic disorders. Various regulating mechanisms exist for the equilibrium of electrolytes in organisms. Alterations in these mechanisms cause electrolyte imbalances that may be life-threatening clinical conditions. The present study defined the electrolyte imbalance characteristics of patients admitted to the emergency department.


The study included 996 patients over 18 years of age, suffering from electrolyte imbalance, with various etiologies other than the traumatic origin. It collected the demographic and clinical parameters of all the patients.


The study observed-


  • 59.28±16.79 as the mean age of the patients
  • 55% of the patients were male.
  • The common symptoms of dyspnea (14.7%), fever (13.7%), and systemic deterioration (11.9%) among the patients, but the most and least frequent electrolyte imbalances were hyponatremia and hypermagnesemia, respectively.
  • The most frequent physical findings were confusion (14%), edema (10%), and rales (9%).
  • The most frequent pathological findings in ECG were tachycardia in 24% and atrial fibrillation in 7% of the patients.
  • The most recurring comorbidity was malignancy (39%).
  • The most recurring diagnoses in the patients were sepsis (11%), pneumonia (9%), and acute renal failure (7%).


This study shows that electrolyte imbalances are crucial in the treatment of ED patients. Thus, ED physicians must be acknowledged of fluid-electrolyte balance dynamics and general characteristics.


Balcı AK, Koksal O, Kose A, Armagan E, Ozdemir F, Inal T, Oner N. General characteristics of patients with electrolyte imbalance admitted to emergency department. World J Emerg Med. 2013;4(2):113-6. doi: 10.5847/wjem.j.issn.1920-8642.2013.02.005. PMID: 25215103; PMCID: PMC4129840.

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