Sunday, May 14, 2006

In Hyperkalemia

Sunday May 14, 2006
In Hyperkalemia !!

Q; Nurse call you with K+ level of 7.8 (lab confirmed - no hemolysis). You ordered 10 units of IV insulin with 2 ampules of D-50, 1 ampule of calcium gluconate and 2 ampules of sodium bicarbonate in series. RT was requested to give 2 nebulizer treatments of albuterol. The final order set is followed ultimately by PO Kayexalate/sorbitol.

What is wrong in above orders for the management of hyperkalemia?

A; In the management of hyperkalemia, sodium bicarbonate should be given before calcium. Administrating bicarbonate after calcium will bind calcium and will render it ineffective. This is another reason, we don't prepare "bicarb drip" in LR (Lactated Ringer’s) as it contains calcium which will bind bicarbonate and will make the whole management ineffective.

Related previous pearls:

Difference between Lactate Ringer's and Normal Saline solutions

Colonic Necrosis - unusual complication of Kayexalate-Sorbitol