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Old 07-18-2012
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Default alkalosis / acidosis

hi everyone,

i am extremely confused on how to identify what is metabolic acidosis/alkolosis / mixed disorders and how to tell if it is recovering or not. i've read up on it about 4 times but keep missing something!! help please
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Old 07-18-2012
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You basically will have 3 questions to concentrate on.
1. What's the pH(acidosis/alkalosis)
2. What explains this pH?(metabolic/respiratory)
3. Is everything else normal?(compensated/uncompensated)

First, look at the pH. Is it more than or less than normal?

More than normal? Good, so its alkalosis! Now you can move onto what's actually causing it. Take a look at the CO2 and HCO3 levels now and identify the change which will help you EXPLAIN THE PH!! Both of them might change but your job is to focus on explaining the cause of the alkalosis. Is the bicarb level too high? Then its metabolic alkalosis. If the CO2 level is too low, then its respiratory alkalosis!

Now you can go back and look at the other number. Is the change in CO2/HCO3 suggestive of acidosis? Then its a COMPENSATED alkalosis since the alkalosis is being compensated(either completely or partially, depending on the pH). If the other number suggests alkalosis too? Then we call it a mixed disorder.

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