Acid-Base, Fluids, and Electrolytes Made Ridiculously Simple

(39 customer reviews)

A brief, highly readable book providing the clinician with a straightforward approach to solving even the most complex acid-base, fluids, and electrolyte problems. Begins with the basic physiology that is key to understanding clinical water, electrolyte, and acid-base disorders. Useful for medical students, interns and residents, nurses responsible for IV fluid therapy, physician assistants, and first year nephrology fellow. Numerous case examples.


Book Details






Edition 3 (September 1, 2017)



About The Author

Richard A. Preston

Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine and Nephrology; Director, Div of Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacokinetics and Clinical Research Center, Dept of Medicine, Univ of Miami School of Medicine.


Chapter 1. The Basics
Chapter 2. IV Solutions and IV Orders
Chapter 3. Hyponatremia
Chapter 4. Hypernatremia
Chapter 5. Hypokalemia
Chapter 6. Hyperkalemia
Chapter 7. Metabolic Acidosis
Chapter 8. Metabolic Alkalosis
Chapter 9. Mixed Acid-Base Disorders
Chapter 10. Case Examples

39 reviews for Acid-Base, Fluids, and Electrolytes Made Ridiculously Simple

  1. Kyoichi Fujita – Practically Life savor for both you and patient

    I hardly anytime would give “5” stars to any products, but this just blew my doubts and misunderstanding out to pieces. I don’t want to sound too explicit, but actually it’s better than sex when you understand something and everything come to senses.

    I mean you out there tell me what other book can teach you so perfectly acid base balances, mixed disorder and anion gap acidosis? No other. Considering even residents who work in US don’t know how to calculate electrolyte, this is a topic regarded lightly by students. But I don’t think so. By giving wrong fluid to critical patient, is not a good story to tell. It’s so critical we have to know it. And first time I felt this material to be easy.

    One day I was so frustrated on some acid base question of mixed acid base disorder, and was frantically searching in google, yahoo, msn , or anything I can put my hands on to enlighten concept as how to calculate electrolytes but without avail. So frustrated I even couldn’t sleep that night. I tried to forget but soon it came to my mind boggling unsolved calculation. Then I was sparkled to my mind that I bought this book long time ago and it might explain to me something better. Sooner opening the page than I was gobbling all I could gorge the materials. That night, after I’ve done doing all the problems in that little book, I said to myself, Oh boy, this is actually better than sex!

    the beauty of this book is way the explanation is so step wise and gives you a smooth comprehension followed by problems which makes you sure that you get it.

    I mean I looked everwhere….. Even the Harrison didn’t have the slightest notion of practical calculation to what it appears complex electrolyte acid base balance, but this little book made it so simple that finally made me think to sue Harrison(well just joking..)

    First time I bought this book, I didn’t take it seriously and put it in back corner of bookshelves, but I was so glad I bought it. I’m telling ya, this is the only book can save your exam and your patient as well.

  2. Jeff Kurzon – Thank goodness for this book

    Acid/Base Made Simple was a very valuable guide during all four years of med school — it saved me more than a few times from embarassing gaps in knowledge. Three of my residents said that they still use it as their primary reference when they encounter acid/base physiology problems. The explanations were crystal clear and the topics addressed are all clinically important ones that come up again and again in the hospital. The book has excellent diagrams, but its strongest point I thought was it’s writing style. In contrast to many books on the subject, this one is written in a casual, almost conversational style that makes it so much easier to read and learn. This is one of the few books that has earned a spot on my bookshelf and will not be sold at the end of med school!

  3. Tyler Beals – Awesome….just awesome

    ‘m starting emergency medicine residency this fall. I studied this book during my renal module in 2nd year of med school, referenced it through 3rd year rotations, and now I’ve just worked through it again in preparation for upcoming rotations in the ICU, emergency room, and for STEP III. It takes big, daunting, and IMPORTANT topics, and gives a beautiful framework for approaching them in clinical scenarios. It’s easy to go through this book in just a few days, and I feel great being fresh on this subject matter as I head into residency. There’s no wasted space here but it provides enough repetition and practice questions throughout to allow for substantial review during 1 read-through. Dr. Preston is my hero.

  4. Rodney Eddi – Your Lifesaver in Fluid & Electrolytes Ocean!

    I purchased this book with some doubt, because you see a very high variability in these series. Now, i am very happy. Every medical student and resident gets frustrated with fliuid and electrolytes. Reading textbooks makes it worse. I have seen a lot of attendings and Nephrologists (!!) who are scared of this subject. This book can help you tremendously. It is written in a very simple language and gives you the proper approach to fluid and electrolyte problems. It is full of practical examples that you will see every day and shows you how to solve them. After reading this book, you will be confident enough to deal with electrolytes. Instead of replacing electrolytes blindly with K-Dur and Neutra-Phos and …. and not knowing what to do with Hyponatremia, you will have a nice framework in your brain to deal with them. And the best part: It is a small book. Don’t hesitate to get it. You won’t regret.

  5. Amit Upadhiaya – Acid-Base, fluids and Electrolytes made ridiculously simple

    I think Acid – Base and Electrolytes is one of the most challenging topics in Medicine . During my second year in Med. School our Head of the Department of Nephrology, on the first day of the course said that if there is one book I would like you all to follow is Acid-Base , Fluids and electrolytes made ridiculously simple. After reading this book I will say that our chief was absolutely on the money . This is a Classic book , not only for medical students but also for residents. There are many different clinical cases and the explanation on each of the cases is great . I think the most important aspect of the book is that it is an easy read .

  6. D. Grubbs – Easy read

    This book is GREAT for those who want a more in depth look at how fluids, electrolytes, and acid-base balance all intertwine. I used to work in dialysis, and I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is in that field. It explains (if you apply the knowledge to what you have learned about dialysis) why bicarb is bicarb… Exactly how it buffers since the kidney can’t and a LOT more!!!

    For any other Field, this is the basis you will use every time you read a BMP/CMP. You will be able to look at he labs and the symptoms to determine which fluids to use. You will know why you chose that one… not just because “they always do,” but because you will understand the reason that fluid is chosen and another is not.

    A lay person could read this and understand pretty good… but someone with basic medical training (EMT-B, MA, etc..) could read this book and learn a lot from it. At the same time as a RN/Paramedic with 17 yrs behind me, I am learning & relearning a lot of things. It ties things I have seen over the years together and they make more sense now.

    Summary: DEFINITELY worth the money!!! If you are in Med school or school for PA, ARNP, RN, or Paramedic, I highly recommend you read this book in what little free time you have. You will be happy you did!!!

  7. KLV – Buy this book-you’ll get your money’s worth.

    You’ll never outgrow this book. During our 2 weeks of renal pathophysiology in med school I was out with chickenpox. I couldn’t have mastered this very difficult topic on my own without this “ridiculously simple” but surprisingly comprehensive and intelligent guide. I continued to use it during 3rd and 4th year and have referred to it countless times over the course of residency. Besides the excellent explanation of ABG analysis, the chapter on hyponatremia is superb. It gives a much more intelligent and rational approach (based on the anatomy of the nephron) than the traditional algorithm. I’m sure I will continue to use this book as the years go by. Buy it- you’ll definately get your money’s worth.

  8. Positivity – Ridiculously Amazing

    First – to comment on the “negative reviews”:

    1 – Yes, you need to know some renal physio to read this book, this is a book that is highly recommended for Medical Students, not for patient education.

    2 – Right – this book is not intended to teach Renal physio — read the title of this book. Dont look for explanations on GFR and the such in here — this book was not made for this.

    Ok – now my review:

    This book will help you in your clinical studies tremendously — it helped me while taking internal medicine (helps you finally learn which patients need which kinds of fluids with which supplementations, and at what rate to give it, etc.), tx of DKA is prevalent in my hospital and it helped with that too. It helped me in Critical Care — where accurate reading of ABGs is mandatory, hyponatremia/pseudohyponatremia is super common, and other electrolyte disturbances need to be evaluated. Even helped me in GI! I haven’t taken Nephro yet — but I am sure it will help me there too.

    This book is concise, logical, and clear. It makes tough topics easy to understand, but does not oversimplify. Topics that are super high yield for clinical practice and step 2 are explained perfectly. Perfect for med students. I think it will be too simplistic for residents — who I think already know this stuff cold. This book is great and I highly recommend it.

  9. I Am Batman – Best introductory Acid-Base Book

    I’d recommend this for any medical student who wants to get a better handle on interpreting a blood gas. It’s a small enough book, which you can finish within a weekend without too much difficulty, and the cases at the end are a good way of practicing and are very similar to what you might see on rounds. Being able to interpret an ABG is a skill that takes practice, and going through this book gives a firm grounding and allows you to understand more complex renal pathologies. Highly recommended.

  10. Scott A. Luke – Foundation is the key

    This is an excellent book for those interested in laying the foundation toward the understanding of fluids and acid/base. This is an exceptionally intricate topic but this book really does a great job in getting you started. I think the target audience is ideally the 3rd year medical student. However, it is never too late to read this book and as a resident I go back to it on occasion to help me to see the greater picture.
    This book is very interesting and can be read with understanding in a weekend. However, I must say this is one of those books that should be read many times over. Every time I pick it up I learn something new…however, that is part of the beauty of acid/base and electrolytes in general.

    I believe that electrolytes are the key to much of medicine. However, most students/residents/attendings dismiss electrolytes as if they represent merely yesterday’s news. As stated – I think this book is really a very good STARTER-book. The electrolytes fever may take place here. Should you catch the fever I have two more books that I highly recommend.

    Pick up Mitch Halperin’s Fluid, Electrolyte, and Acid-Base Physiology. This book is full of clinical examples and uses a practical integrative physiology approach to learning. Well worth any amount of money that you put down.

    Burton Rose’s Clinical Physiology of Acid-Base and Electrolyte Disorders is a beautiful text as well. This is the “Up-to-Date” guy that many residents/physicians use while on-call. Heck, most physicians that use the service have read his hyponatremia sections in Up-to-Date. Well, his book will NOT disappoint.

  11. RGMac – Excellent nuts and bolts perspective

    I’m glad I found this – fluids and acid/base is one of those topics that is easy to get a grip on (even basic EMT’s have a fair working knowledge of it) but very difficult to master, unless someone shows you the path. In this case, the path goes through the loop of Henle, and while you will get lost if you don’t know your renal physiology (you better know the loop cold) this is the best little volume I’ve ever seen for laying it all out. It is a very dense book – there is no fluff. I gave up highlighting after a while because nearly every line was important. It will also bear repeated readings. Some of the chapters only made sense on the second or third reading, and this was with the material made as simple as it could be made. But if you’re stuck on nephrology and acid/base and can’t seem to make heads or tails of this topic, I highly recommend this little book. It also greatly benefits from multiple real world exercises using the many formulae that you’ll learn, calculating fluid and electrolyte defecits. Great stuff.

    For PA’s and MD’s (and students of same.) I can’t see it being of any real use to staff nurses unless they work in a really high speed ICU or they just want to know a lot more than they learned in school.

  12. Benjamin Lyles – Found it very helpful.

    I’m a 2nd year medical student and I read through this book over a couple days during my kidney block. It is short and an easy read so it was a nice supplement to our course material. I really liked that it contained numerous practice problems at the end of each chapter to illustrate the main points. I would definitely recommend this to other 1st or 2nd year medical students looking for an outside source on this material. I think that at any higher level you will need a much more detailed source. But at this level I found it very useful. Great price too.

  13. Kristi Swede – Clear and Readable

    This is a wonderful little book that makes these complex topics clear. The concepts are laid out in easy-to-follow steps, and the cases at the end of each chapter really help you integrate the concepts.

    If you are looking for a clear introduction to this complex topic, you will find this book a superb guide. I’ve enjoyed Acid-Base the most of the “Ridiculously Simple” series, and found it to be elegantly simple.

  14. md resident – excellent

    i am an IM resident and this book helped me a lot. it simplified things for me, starting from the basics eg osmolality and tonicity that i almost forgot since graduation from medical school. i recommend it for everyone

  15. cf50 – I wish I had this during Med School

    This book makes these tricky topics seem so logical! It has clinical cases so you can practice the knowledge.
    Very recommended; I wish I had this some years ago, back at Med School.

  16. kmer – A MUST for any med student! Even the attending nephrologists use it!!

    This book is great! Its small size keeps it from being intimidating, and it is short enough that you can cram two nights before the exam. (I did!) In our classes, the attending nephrologists swore by this book. They use it on their floors to teach their nephrology fellows and residents about these often-misunderstood topics. It clearly answers most of your questions about how to keep acids and bases straight as well as the guidelines for hypokalemia, hyperkalemia, hyponatremia, and hypernatremia. For a smaller book, it packs a big punch!

  17. Steve – An n excellent resource

    Very concise and well written book. As an RN in a Medical ICU, acid-base disorders, sodium and other electrolyte disorders are commonplace. This book helps tremendously in understanding this subject

  18. Angeline Modesti – I’m a second year medical student and used this book …

    I’m a second year medical student and used this book for my renal block and it was an absolute life saver! Covers everything you need to know in a simplified way that starts from a solid base

  19. JR – Background: 1st year medical student (i. e. …

    Background: 1st year medical student (i.e., the struggle is real). I was hesitant to purchase this book because I was afraid it was going to be insultingly simple. Not the case. The book is well-written to the point that if you just trust that the author will explain what he means in the soon to follow paragraphs, you’ll understand the content covered in this book.

  20. EG – I would highly recommend this book

    This book was incredibly helpful for my renal exam. I’m a physician assistant student and I have been recommending this book to several of my peers and incoming students. If you are starting med school or PA school and the kidneys seem overwhelming, I would highly recommend this book.

  21. Boutros Ghassibi – Really excellent

    Excellent. IT IS made very simple if you are an MD or a medical student . Still , reading this straightforward book needs a minimal amount of concentration ; it is not a novel . But it really added a lot of information to my knowledge of this difficult subject . Again, while remaining very accurate and scientific, the information is delivered in a way that makes it much simpler than other books. I loved this book.

  22. P. Gorlin – A great book for ED, hospitalists, critical care physicians.

    The best route to mastery of acid base problems. After reading this book (not a ridiculously simple book by the way) I believe there is no acid base problem I cannot attack and dissect. It will take effort, but by the conclusion you will never be thrown by any combination of ph, bicarb, electrolytes, CO2. Only criticism is that it needs more problems at the ends of each chapter.

  23. dnawarren – Thorough, but NOT “ridiculously simple”

    This book does not have as many diagrams and learning tools as I would have liked. It does have very thorough explanations that are readable and lots of examples. A better title would be “A Thorough Understanding of Acid-Base, Fluids and Electrolytes”. The “made ridiculously simple” concept does not really apply here. “Clinical Pathophysiology Made Ridiculously Simple” covers these concepts with enough detail for most healthcare professionals. I would suggest this book only if you need a high level of understanding, otherwise Clinical Pathophysiology Made Ridiculously Simple should meet your needs and covers lots of other topics as well.

  24. zee – Acid-base fluids MRS

    This is another great edition to the MRS series that i think is a must have for medical students. I havent finished reading the book yet but so far i really like it. Fluids and acid-base physiology and pathology is one of the most important concepts in medicine. Most text books i’ve read offer a very detailed and hard to understand approach to these concepts. This book breaks it down easily and simplifies important concepts. That for me, is the most important factor to consider when selecting any review book. I highly recommend this book to all 3rd year medical students still doing lectures or already in their rotations. The book is a quick and fast revisit to one of the most commonly used concepts in medicine, irrespective of your field in medicine.

  25. Steve – Worth the money

    This is a very helpful book. I am a general medicine attending and I used this book to prepare teaching rounds. It is filled full of practical real-world advice.

  26. Roberto Machado – All you need to start learning about fluids and lytes

    Acid-Base, Fluids and Electrolytes MRS is an outstanding book. It presents a traditionaly complex subject in a clear way. It is an excellent teaching tool for medical students and internal medicine residents.

  27. Carlos Mercado MD – Acid-Base, Fluids, and Electrolytes Made Ridiculously Simple

    It is Just great. it opens your concepts for further and more complicated problems on these topic. Is a Must have for students and for all residents.

  28. Alan Chu – a master piece!

    This a well-written, very easy to read medical text. It helped me to better understand the subject in a matter of hours. It is so organized and each topic is wonderfully explained in great detail. There is no other books like it. All medical students and residents should have a copy in hand. Dr. Preston is truly a great teacher and an amazing writter.

  29. KTM Wookie – Acid base can be straight forward

    This book truly reduces the breadth of information to a manageable and understandable format.

    I recommend this book for anyone needing a refresher of previously learned information, and for those that need a thorough basis for future study.

  30. the boat – Nothing will make this topic ridiculously simple, but this comes close

    I have struggled with electrolytes and acid base for as long as I can remember. After reading this I feel confident about this topic for the very first time. That said, I would only recommend it to those who already have decent knowledge of renal physiology as this book does not discuss it with great detail but instead takes a more clinical approach.

  31. Kiran C. Raju – Great book

    This book is concise, thorough and straight forward. It helped me during my first two years in medical school and also on third and fourth year rotations. Pocketsize and simple. It’s real easy to use and you remember what you read when you get pimped in the wards! Preston did a wonderful job on this book.

  32. C. Phillips – Great summary

    I was surprised by the detail that this small book covered, but it explained just enough without being too much. Very good for someone needing a little more guidance through the topic of electrolytes and such. Lots of information in each short chapter and good practice questions.

  33. Rebecca Phillips – Nursing Students Dream

    I bought this book in nursing school to help me understand F & E content. I loved this book and still use it in my practice today. I actually had to purchase it again because I lent it to an NP who wanted to learn more about the anion gap and I never got it back.

  34. AP – Highly recommended. Pathophysiology is mentioned very nicely

    Highly recommended. Pathophysiology is mentioned very nicely. The book is easy to grasp however at the end it’s hard to retain. Concise in them in the form Off mnemonics will be helpful.

  35. Suzanne E Aiuto – Perfect condition. Very informative and uses true scientific and …

    Perfect condition. Very informative and uses true scientific and medical terms with out being “text book” . I am a nursing student who is a Licensed Nurse’s Assistant & now a dialysis tech trainee.This format is great I recommend other similar products for all medical staff. Great refresh even on knowledgeable topics 🙂

  36. L. Hudson – … long time fan of this series and find the easy to read and great explanations of the calculations

    I’m a long time fan of this series and find the easy to read and great explanations of the calculations, to be a valuable resource in my practice.

  37. Vanessa Rodriguez – funny but super accurate

    A must for everyone with issues with acid base and electrolytes. This book is simple, funny but super accurate. Dr Preston is a genius.

  38. readinglover – Complex topic made easy

    Clear and concise explanations. Exercises at the end of the chapter help you practice. Cases at the end of the book are great for putting it all together.

  39. UVaNP – NPs, PAs, RNs & MDs–good clinical review for acid-base and F&E

    have used this book for review for my Gen. Med. rotation in NP school–concise, VERY practical and good overview of content. carries well in your pocket, too!

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