I've talked to some fellow nurses lately getting opinions on the use of fluid balance charts in their specialty units. Everyone had different opinions.
The issue discussed was how fluid balance charts are so rarely properly filled out/ amounts are missed so the balance is never truly accurate; so they figure what good are they actually doing?
My ICU friends disagreed, obviously fluid balance is critical in ICU and with a 1:1 nurse to patient ratio plus IDC and ng/IV lines being able to get exact input and output, an accurate fluid balance is much more achievable.
One cardiologist I've worked with never ordered a fluid balance, believing a strict daily weight was the most accurate way to manage a CHF patient as he often found discrepancies in I+O charting- so he simply trialled working without them.
I know it depends on your specialty unit but I would love to hear everyone's opinions/stories and experiences (vents) with I + O charting.
Is this charting being properly performed where you work?
Do you believe fluid balance is critical where you work even when you have found discrepancies?
Do you think more education needs to be provided on the importance of recording an accurate fluid balance?