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Acid Base and Electrolyte Balance Mnemonics and Tips


Nursing Notes

Apr 1, 2014

Visual mnemonics for better understanding!


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Feeling a little weak on the concepts of Acid-Base Balance and Electrolyte Balance? Here are some helpful visual mnemonics and tips to make it easier and more
easy to understand.

Calcium and Phosphorous Relationship

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The homeostasis of calcium and phosphorus is the result of complex relations between calcemia, phosphatemia, and different hormones
and factors working synergistically to keep a normal balance of these minerals. The normal value for serum calcium is 9.0 11.0 mg/dl while 3.0 4.5 mg/dl for
phosphorus.

Calcium and Phosphorous homeostasis is like a seesaw.

Acidosis & Alkalosis


Whats the difference between Acidosis and Alkalosis? In Alkalosis the pH is high, while in Acidosis the pH is low.

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Alkalosis is kickin the pH up. Acidosis is slidin the pH down.

Potassium Levels in Acidosis


Remember, Potassium (K) goes inside in Acidosis. In metabolic acidosis, more than one-half of the excess hydrogen ions are buffered in the cells. Thus,
metabolic acidosis results in a plasma potassium concentration that is elevated in relation to total body stores.

pH down = K up! (Yet another seesaw)

Hypokalemia
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Hypokalemia means having low potassium level of less than than 3.5 mEq/L. Potassium is one of the bodys major ions. Nearly 98% of the bodys potassium is
intracellular. The ratio of intracellular to extracellular potassium is important in determining the cellular membrane potential. Small changes in the extracellular
potassium level can have profound effects on the function of the cardiovascular and neuromuscular systems.

Intestinal motility and heart activity is slowed during hypokalemia. During hypoK, remember the heart saying Wake us up when its over.

Hyperkalemia
Hyperkalemia is defined as a serum potassium concentration greater than approximately 3.5-5.5 mEq/L in adults; whereas levels exceeding 8.5 mEq/L can
cause respiratory paralysis or cardiac arrest and can quickly be fatal.

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Changes during hyperkalemia, note the ECG reading!

Heat Stroke
Signs and symptoms of Heat Stroke including the acid-base imbalances and electrolyte imbalances within.

Signs and symptoms of Heat Stroke and note the management below.

Heat Exhaustion
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Heat exhaustion occurs after being exposed to high temperatures for a long period of time and have become dehydrated.

Mowing the lawn far too long? You might get heat exhaustion not too long!

Causes of Alkalosis
So what are the causes of alkalosis in Respiratory Alkalosis and Metabolic Alkalosis? Common causes of Respiratory Alkalosis (pH , CO2 ) are: initial stages
of pulmonary emboli, anxiety, pregnancy and fever. Common causes of Metabolic Alkalosis (pH , HCO3) are: loss of gastric juices, antacid overdose, and
potassium wasting diuretics.

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Different causes of alkalosis.

Causes of Acidosis
Difference of Respiratory Acidosis and Metabolic Acidosis. Respiratory Acidosis (pH CO2 ) is usually caused by Hypoventilation, drug overdose, COPD,
airway obstruction and pulmonary edema. Metabolic Acidosis (pH CO2 )on the other hand is usually caused by: Diabetic Ketoacidosis, Salicylate
overdose, severe diarrhea and renal failure.

Different causes of Acidosis.

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TAGS

ACID-BASE BALANCE

CALCIUM

HEAT STROKE

METABOLIC ALKALOSIS

MNEMONICS & TIPS

PHOSPHOROUS

POTASSIUM

RESPIRATORY ALKALOSIS

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