One of the most important advances in modern medicine is the ability to supply the sick patient with water, food and other chemicals when their normal ingestion from the gastro-intestinal tract has been disturbed. The need for and the value of this parenteral therapy are well established. Prolonged nausea and vomiting may warrant its use, or rest of the gastrointestinal tract may be desired following operations on it, hemorrhages in it, or inflammations involving any portions of its length. Occasionally inanition may be so marked that fluid and food must be so supplied. In many instances this therapy is the chief aid in carrying a sick patient over a critical period of his illness, and fortunately in recent years physicians have done better in eliminating reactions from such treatment.
Opinions vary somewhat as to the choice of fluid for parenteral administration.1 A number of factors are involved in the