A nurse finds that a patient was given 2000 mL of a hypotonic fluid instead of the 2% hypertonic NaCl ordered. The reason that this is a concern is that administration of too much hypotonic fluid can result in which of the following?


•Administering too much hypotonic fluid, especially if a hypertonic fluid is indicated, causes water intoxication and cellular edema.

•The hypotonic fluid creates a strong concentration gradient where there are now more solutes in the fluid inside the cells than in the fluid of the vascular compartment. So the fluid from the vascular compartment moves into the cells to balance it out. This causes those cells to swell up, causing the cellular edema.

Incorrect options:

•Fluid volume overload and hypertension might be caused by administration of hypertonic fluids, which would pull fluids from out of the cells and into the vascular compartment.

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