Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Degree Level





Smith-Blair, Nan

Committee Member/Reader

Gentry, Jacklyn

Committee Member/Second Reader

Sabatini, Lindsey


Dysnatremia in the intensive care unit (ICU) is a common problem among ICU patients and has been associated with an increase in mortality rates (Sakr et al., 2013). Dysnatremia upon admission to the ICU, in comparison with ICU acquired dysnatremia, has also been linked with higher mortality rates (Sakr et al., 2013). In this quality improvement project, a retrospective medical record review was used to evaluate cohorts of normonatremic and dysnatremic patients upon admission to the surgical ICU and compare their length of stay and mortality rate. The study setting was in an intensive care unit within an urban hospital in Northwest Arkansas. Study results were then compared to previously published studies focusing on length of stay and mortality rates of dysnatremia patients in surgical ICU. The study included 103 surgical patients, 75 normonatremic and 28 dysnatremic patients, admitted to an ICU in whom sodium levels were drawn within 24 hours upon admission. The results of this study showed no statistically significant difference between normonatremic and dysnatremic patients in the length of stay or mortality rates.