Hypovolemia in Infants
Hypovolemia is a low level of blood in the body. Lower levels of blood make it difficult to get nutrients and oxygen to the entire body. Hypovolemia will affect the entire body but certain organs are at higher risk of damage. Organs that are very active like heart, kidney, brain, and liver may be affected the most.
This condition is serious. Your baby will need care right away.
Hypovolemia may be caused by:
Factors that increase your baby’s risk of getting hypovolemia include:
Symptoms may include:
Your doctor will ask about your baby’s symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
Your doctor may check your baby’s blood flow by putting pressure on a nail bed.
Talk with your baby’s doctor about the best treatment plan.
Replacing Fluids and Improving Blood Flow
Your baby may have:
Your baby’s legs may also be elevated. This will increase the amount of blood going to the heart and brain.
Managing the Underlying Cause
Additional treatment will depend on the cause of hypovolemia:
There is no known way to prevent hypovolemia. It is important to notice signs of dehydration and begin treatment right away.
American Academy of Pediatrics
National Heart Lung and Blood Institute
Canadian Pediatric Society
Caring for Kids
The Hospital for Sick Children
Day R, Paul P, Williams B. Textbook of Canadian Medical-Surgical Nursing. 2nd ed. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2009. Available at: http://books.googl... . Accessed January 11, 2013.
Dehydration and hypovolemia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us . Updated January 25, 2012. Accessed January 11, 2013.
Hypovolemic shock. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us . Updated December 3, 2012. Accessed January 11, 2013.
Last reviewed September 2013 by Kari Kassir, MD