Open Water Swimming Word Of The Day: Third Spacing
Third spacing (noun): In human physiology, extracellular fluids are distributed between the interstitial compartment (i.e. tissue) and intravascular compartment (i.e. plasma) in an approximately 75%-25% ratio.
Third spacing is the physiological concept that body fluids may collect in a “third” body compartment that isn’t normally perfused with fluids.
For example, open water swimmer’s body to appear waterlogged or swollen after a long swim when fluid is trapped in the interstitial spaces in the brain, lungs, abdomen and extremities.
Third spacing can be caused by a loss of electrolytes. In turn, this results in extracellular fluids going out of the blood vessels and into the skin tissue that normally is not perfused with fluids.
Usage: The marathon swimmer looked uncharacteristically soft and pudgy when he exited the water after his crossing of the English Channel.
Copyright © 2009-2019 by World Open Water Swimming Association