Hyperkalemia is an Imbaland of Serum Potassium

538 WordsJan 27, 20182 Pages
Hyperkalemia is a common electrolyte imbalance characterized by elevated serum potassium. Hyperkalemia is defined as serum potassium concentrations greater than 5.5 mmol/L (normal range is 3.5 to 5.0 mmol/L). In the body, ninety-eight percent of potassium is intracellular, and the 2 % left is extracellular which is needed for nerve conduction and muscle contraction. For this reason, extracellular potassium concentration is tightly regulated through renal potassium excretion. Up to 90% of dietary intake of potassium is excreted by the kidney. As kidney function declines, the kidney compensates and aldosterone levels increase in order to boost potassium excretion. However, compensatory mechanisms may become overwhelmed, and result in hyperkalemia (Raymond & Wazny, 2010). Potassium plays an important role in nerve and muscle function. As a result of this role, abnormalities in serum potassium may trigger membrane excitability and considerable nerve, muscle and cardiac dysfunction leading to ventricular arrhythmias and subsequently sudden cardiac death. It is estimated that between 1% and 10% of patients admitted to a hospital experience hyperkalemia, with a mortality rate of 1 per 1,000 (Raymond & Wazny,2010). Causes of Hyperkalemia Many causes of hyperkalemia are seen in clinical practice. The most typical causes are: renal disease, and also the consumption of medications that predispose the patient to hyperkalemia (Parham, W.; Mehdirad,
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