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Hypokalemia

Hypokalemia is a topic covered in the Pocket ICU Management.

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First Things First (assess & treat for the following)

  • Is the hypokalemia real?
    • Laboratory error: repeat test.
    • Pseudohypokalemia: delayed separation of serum w/ markedly elevated WBC count
  • Is pt symptomatic?
    • Severity of signs & symptoms may depend on severity of hypokalemia & rate at which it develops.
    • Most pts are asymptomatic (mild hypokalemia 3.0-3.5 mEq/L).
    • Symptoms of hypokalemia (generally < 3.0 mEq/L): generalized weakness, fatigue, muscle cramps, constipation, polyuria/polydipsia, muscle necrosis (severe), ascending paralysis (severe)
    • Signs of hypokalemia (< 3.0 mEq/L): cardiac arrhythmias, mild glucose intolerance
    • EKG changes: flattened T waves, depressed ST segment, appearance of prominent U waves, prolonged PR interval, widened QRS complex

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Last updated: May 5, 2010

Citation

"Hypokalemia." Pocket ICU Management, PocketMedicine.com, Inc, 2010. Anesthesia Central, anesth.unboundmedicine.com/anesthesia/view/Pocket-ICU-Management/534084/all/Hypokalemia.
Hypokalemia. Pocket ICU Management. PocketMedicine.com, Inc; 2010. https://anesth.unboundmedicine.com/anesthesia/view/Pocket-ICU-Management/534084/all/Hypokalemia. Accessed April 25, 2019.
Hypokalemia. (2010). In Pocket ICU Management. Available from https://anesth.unboundmedicine.com/anesthesia/view/Pocket-ICU-Management/534084/all/Hypokalemia
Hypokalemia [Internet]. In: Pocket ICU Management. PocketMedicine.com, Inc; 2010. [cited 2019 April 25]. Available from: https://anesth.unboundmedicine.com/anesthesia/view/Pocket-ICU-Management/534084/all/Hypokalemia.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - Hypokalemia ID - 534084 Y1 - 2010/05/05/ BT - Pocket ICU Management UR - https://anesth.unboundmedicine.com/anesthesia/view/Pocket-ICU-Management/534084/all/Hypokalemia PB - PocketMedicine.com, Inc DB - Anesthesia Central DP - Unbound Medicine ER -