Loss of fluid in intestinal obstruction results from two developments following onset of the condition. First, frank loss of secretions occurs as a result of (a) vomiting, (b) stagnation of secretions above the level of obstruction and (c) suction or siphonage instituted when the patient is placed under management. Second, loss of income is sustained as a result of abstention from food and beverages.
The amount of loss in the first of these developments varies with the volumes vomited, stagnant in the intestinal lumen and aspirated by suction or siphonage. Whatever this volume may be, it is composed of water with organic and inorganic substances the most important of which is sodium chloride. The concentration of the salts in the gastrointestinal secretions is approximately that of the same salts in the blood serum.1 To compensate for this loss it has been suggested that 0.9 per cent sodium chloride solution