What would happen if a patient with cerebral edema was given a hypotonic IV solution?

1 Answer
Oct 30, 2015

Giving a patient with cerebral edema a hypotonic solution would make the edema worse and cause many deleterious effects on the cells of the body.


Cerebral edema is a swelling of the brain caused by excess fluid. If the patient received a hypotonic IV solution, it would cause his blood to become hypotonic, which could damage the red blood cells and possibly cause them to burst. It would cause water molecules to move across the cell membranes from the blood into the cells, This would dilute the contents of the cells, which could interfere with cell functions or even kill them. This would also increase the cerebral edema.