• Shuffle
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Alphabetize
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Front First
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Both Sides
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Read
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off

Card Range To Study



Play button


Play button




Click to flip

Use LEFT and RIGHT arrow keys to navigate between flashcards;

Use UP and DOWN arrow keys to flip the card;

H to show hint;

A reads text to speech;

14 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Normal serum K+ levels
3.5-4.8 mmol/L
Start seeing signs of hypokalemia
3 mEq/L with a K+ imbalance of -450 mEq/70kg wt
Hyperkalemia starts
exponential increase when get past 0 balance
Causes of Hypokalemia
poor diet,
intracellular shift
GI or sweat losses; laxative or enema use
Urinary losses
Urinary losses: cause of hypokalemia
mineralcorticoid excess
increased Na excretion, high Na intake, diuretic Rx, osmotic diuresis, salt wasting nephropathies
magnesium deficiency
metabolic alkalosis
high dose Rx with penicillin class, amphotericin B
Diuretics and hypokalemia
associated with diuretics early after start or an increase in dose

K+ sparing avoid hypokalemia, but risk hyperkalemia

prevent Na+/K+ exchange
Hypokalemia signs
muscle weakness/paralysis with K< 2.5

gut, smooth muscle
skeletal muscle--rhabodmylolysis, myoglobinuria

Cardiac effects: u waves, digitalis toxicity, arrhythmias

Renal: impaired concentrating ability, metabolic alkalosis
Management of Hypokalemia
3-3.5, usually asymptomatic, po supplement if on digitalis, otherwise diet okay

2.5-3: treat with po supplements until serum at 3

2-2.5: some clinical manifestations likely: rx promptly with po supplements, IV if po route questionable or already receiving IV fluids

<2: severe hypokalemia probable: IV needed immediately
Oral supplements
KCl preferred in most cases
KPhosphate if phosphate deficit
non chloride salts: bicarb, citrate, acetate, lactate, gluconate salts useful if bicarb deficit
Oral dosage forms
solutions effective
wax tablets: released a bit at a time in the gut, prevents ulcers
microencapsulated caps
sustained release microcrystalloids
diet sources of K+
lean meat, chicken, fruits, vegetables, legumes, salt substitute
Cautions for K+
levels may rise higher than expected if can't excrete K or shift K into ICF normally
Drug cautions for K+
K sparing diuretics (spironolactone, amilioride, triamterene)
beta 2 blocker
Decreased renal function
IV potassium therapy
higher concentration tolerated via central vein: use pump for safety

often piggy backed