Anesthesia Central is an all-in-one web and mobile solution for treating patients before, during, and after surgery. This collection of drug, procedures and test information is derived from Davis’s Drug, MGH Clinical Anesthesia Procedures, Pocket Guide to Diagnostic Tests, and MEDLINE Journals. Explore these free sample topics:
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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