Electrolytes Question #56


The nurse is caring for a client with renal failure. Which will the nurse monitor to determine if the client is experiencing compensation?


  1. pH will decrease as a result of compensation
    • Rationale:
  2. Rapid respiratory rate to eliminate carbon dioxide
    • Rationale:
  3. Oxygen saturation levels will rise
    • Rationale:
  4. Bicarbonate will be retained by the kidneys as a compensatory measure
    • Rationale:



The correct answer is B. Lung and kidney health are related in both health and disease. Respiratory complications of chronic renal failure include pulmonary edema, fibrinous pleuritis, pulmonary calcification, and a predisposition to tuberculosis. Rapid respirations is a compensatory response to reduce respiratory acidosis. A decreased pH indicates acidosis. Oxygen saturation levels do not participate in a compensatory response. Bicarbonate would be retained in metabolic acidosis.

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.

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