Electrolytes Question #18


A client with renal failure seeks medical attention after missing three dialysis treatments.Which set of arterial blood gases (ABGs) should indicate to the nurse that the client is in metabolic acidosis?


  1. PH of 7.43, PCO2 of 36, HCO3 of 26
    • Rationale:
  2. PH of 7.41, PCO2 of 49, HCO3 of 30
    • Rationale:
  3. PH of 7.33, PCO2 of 35, HCO3 of 17
    • Rationale:
  4. PH of 7.25, PCO2 of 56, HCO3 of 28
    • Rationale:



The correct answer is C. Evidence of acidosis includes a pH of 7.33, PC02 of 35, and HC03 of 17 and a pH of 7.25, PC02 of 56, and HC03 of 28. However the pH of 7.25 indicates respiratory acidosis. The pH of 7.41 indicates compensated metabolic alkalosis and a pH of 7.43 would be considered normal.

NCLEX TIP: Using critical thinking is recommended when reading priority questions. Recognizing key words in the answer choices will allow you to know how to choose the correct answer for the question. Go through each answer choice and decide is it: Maslow’s hierarchy, safety-related, or following the nursing process (ADPIE). Never complete a nursing action that is outside the scope of practice.

Learning Outcomes

Test Taking Tip

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