Clinical Case Database / Category: Patient Management

Sodium imbalances for the Foundation doctor

Publication details

Thomas Cannon MBChB (Hons), Tracie Plant BMedSci (Neuroscience), MBChB, Miguel Debono MD, MRCP
Foundation Years Journal, volume 4, issue 2, p.62 (123Doc Education, London, February 2010)


One of the most common and sometimes complicated electrolyte abnormalities encountered in hospital patients are sodium imbalances. Unlike the management of other electrolyte imbalances, which are guided by specific well-established guidelines, sodium disorders are often not managed as well. This is because of the larger array of causes and aspects of management that can be employed. It is hoped that this article will go some way to aiding Foundation doctors in their understanding of abnormalities of serum sodium levels and how to approach their investigation and management.

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Thomas Cannon MBChB (Hons)

Foundation Year 2 Doctor
South Yorkshire Foundation School
Northern General Hospital
Herries Road
Sheffield S5 7AU

Tracie Plant BMedSci (Neuroscience), MBChB

Foundation Year 2 Doctor
South Yorkshire Foundation School
Northern General Hospital
Herries Road
Sheffield S5 7AU

Miguel Debono MD, MRCP

Academic Specialist Registrar in Diabetes and Endocrinology
Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust


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6. Biswas M, Davies JS (2007) Hyponatraemia in clinical practice. Postgraduate medical journal, 83:373–378.
7. Smellie WSA, Heald A (2007) Hyponatraemia and hypernatraemia: pitfalls in testing. BMJ, 334:473–476.
8. Stephanides SL. Hypernatraemia: Treatment and Medication. Retrieved 27 August 2009 from


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T​he Foundation Years Clinical Cases Database is​ a selection of 600 peer-reviewed clinical cases in the field of patient safety and clinical practice, specifically focused on the clinical information needs of junior doctors, based around the Foundation Year Curriculum programme (MMC). The cases have been chosen to align with the Foundation Year Curriculum.

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