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Electrolyte Disturbance and Acid-Base Imbalance 

Electrolyte Disturbance and Acid-Base Imbalance
Chapter:
Electrolyte Disturbance and Acid-Base Imbalance
Author(s):

Sara E. Hocker

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190244927.003.0089
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date: 21 October 2019

Electrolyte disorders are among the most common clinical problems encountered in critically ill patients. Disorders such as severe burns, trauma, sepsis, acute brain injury, and heart failure lead to disturbances in fluid and electrolyte homeostasis through complex mechanisms involving deregulation or activation of hormonal systems and ischemic or nephrotoxic kidney injury. The body maintains a pH of about 7.40 in the extracellular fluid by respiratory excretion of carbon dioxide (CO2) and renal excretion of nonvolatile acid or base. Acute acid-base disorders may change the arterial pH enough to cause neurologic manifestations. Buffer systems exist to help maintain the pH by balancing serum bicarbonate and CO2. If one of these components becomes abnormal, complex respiratory or renal compensation occurs.

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