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Poem on Insensible Losses

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  • I am a retired physician. In general, the use of insensible losses in medicine does not refer to the patient’s “inability to sense” the loss (usually water), but rather to our inability to measure that loss. When we measure a patient’s daily (24 hour) I&O (input and output), and they are exactly equal, we would expect the patient’s weight to actually fall a small amount … this is explained by the patient’s “insensible losses,” mostly in the form of water loss from our respiratory system as we exhale, and evaporation of water from the skin.

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