THIS ARTICLE is part of a symposium on "Nutritional Problems in Surgical Patients" and is a consideration of some therapeutic needs of persons who are unable or not permitted, for special reasons, to take sufficient fluids and food by mouth. Required water, dextrose, electrolytes and vitamins are then usually given parenterally, and present knowledge is reviewed with the object of aiding in the selection of the amount and kind of substances to administer. Fat is a relatively new material under experimentation for parenteral therapy, and its use will be briefly discussed.
Water and electrolyte balance is a complex matter in many ways and important disturbances in chemical concentrations occur in surgical and medical patients. But is is necessary to remember that in the great majority of cases treatment is and can be kept relatively simple. The instances of unusual and rather complicated chemical alterations require expert consideration and often special