Acid-Base and Electrolyte Case Study

A nurse is taking care of an 85-year-old woman in a hospital based skilled nursing facility. In report, the nurse is told the patient has not been breathing well for the past 2 days. She has been lethargic, her skin is warm and dry, and she has a decreased urine output. The following laboratory findings were returned from the laboratory immediately after morning report:

•Na: 147
•Cl 110
•K 4.0
•Blood Gases:
•pH 7.33
•PCO2 48
•HCO3 27
•Po2 96
•Urine Specific Gravity 1.040

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Address the following:
1.Identify each of the abnormal laboratory findings in the above results. Specify how they differ from a normal range and identify what condition each abnormality indicates.
2.What specific electrolyte disturbance does the patient have?
3.What clinical manifestations would the nurse expect to see with this electrolyte abnormality presented above?
4.If the patient had an increase in her potassium level, what clinical manifestations would the nurse monitor for?
5.What blood gas abnormality is seen in this patient? Discuss the rationale for your answer.
6.What are the three major mechanisms of pH regulation?

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