A rare but life-threatening condition, rhabdomyolysis refers to a condition where skeletal muscle tissues die and release harmful substances that can potentially cause kidney failure. Often, it’s triggered by specific events, such as injury, drug use, overexertion, or injection. In many cases, it’s associated with crush syndrome, a disorder generally occurring due to traumatic injury to the skeletal muscles. However, causes of kidney injury, dehydration, and muscle injury may trigger it.
Although symptoms may not be present in mild cases of rhabdomyolysis, most people with the condition experience common complaints. Some symptoms may include severe aching and throbbing of muscles, muscle weakness, muscle inflammation or swelling, general fatigue or exhaustion, malaise, irregular heartbeat, dizziness and lightheadedness, disorientation, confusion, and nausea and vomiting. If signs of rhabdomyolysis occur, seeking immediate medical treatment is recommended because it can cause complications that may result in irreversible damage.
Physicians diagnose the condition by carefully reviewing the patient’s medical history and considering factors such as injuries, medication use, overexertion, and other risk factors linked to the disease. Then, laboratory tests are required to confirm the condition, which normally involves identifying elevated creatine kinase levels in your blood and myoglobin presence in your urine.
Intravenous Fluid Regulation
One of the most common treatment options for rhabdomyolysis is intravenous fluid regulation. It refers to controlling fluids that the body receives intravenously. As its name suggests, it delivers essential fluids from bags connected to intravenous lines inserted into your veins. Some reasons why fluids may have to be administered intravenously are rehydration because of severe dehydration from excessive activity or illness, antibiotic treatment for infections, delivery of chemotherapy drugs, and pain management.
In the case of serious cases of rhabdomyolysis, intravenous fluids are administered to rehydrate the body, aid flush electrolytes and muscle proteins out, and prevent potentially dangerous arrhythmias and kidney function losses from occurring. Often, hospital admission is required so that healthcare providers can monitor the patient for any abnormalities in heart rhythm, decreased function of the kidneys, and elevated potassium levels.
Intravenous fluid administration is common and generally safe. However, some risks are associated with the procedure, including collapsed veins, dislodged catheters, and infections at the injection site. There’s also a possibility of fluid transfer being too rapid, causing overloads that may result in anxiety, breathlessness, and headaches. Alternatively, you may get insufficient fluid and fail to respond to the treatment positively.