Medical Surgical ABGs & Acid Base Imbalances #5

Question

A person who has gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and overuses calcium carbonate tablets would be at risk for which acid-base disorder?

Answers

  1. Respiratory acidosis.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because respiratory acidosis is when the lungs cannot remove enough carbon dioxide, which causes the pH of the blood to decrease, becoming too acidic. Causes of respiratory acidosis are asthma, pneumonia, and pulmonary edema.

  2. Respiratory alkalosis.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because respiratory alkalosis is when the pH of the blood rises and becomes too alkaline. Causes of respiratory alkalosis include hyperventilation, hypoxia, or anxiety.

  3. Metabolic acidosis.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because overusing calcium carbonate would cause the body to become more acidic, instead of alkaline. This is called metabolic acidosis when the body loses too much alkali from causes such as diarrhea, malnutrition, ketoacidosis, or renal insufficiency.

  4. Metabolic alkalosis.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because metabolic alkalosis happens when the body becomes overly alkaline, such as from diuretic use, gastrointestinal suctioning, vomiting or overuse of antacids. Overuse of antacids causes a bicarbonate excess. Treatment involves medications to promote excretion of bicarbonate by the kidneys such as fluid replacement medications.

Overview

Metabolic alkalosis occurs when the blood pH becomes overly alkaline. Causes include diuretic use, gastrointestinal suctioning, vomiting, or overuse of antacids.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

Metabolic alkalosis happens when the body becomes overly alkaline, such as from diuretic use, gastrointestinal suctioning, vomiting or overuse of antacids. Treatment involves medications to promote excretion of bicarbonate by the kidneys such as fluid replacement and medications. Respiratory acidosis is when the lungs cannot remove enough carbon dioxide, which causes the pH of the blood to decrease, becoming too acidic. Causes of respiratory acidosis are asthma, pneumonia, and pulmonary edema. Respiratory alkalosis is when the pH of the blood rises and becomes too alkaline. Causes of respiratory alkalosis include hyperventilation, hypoxia, or anxiety. This is called metabolic acidosis when the body loses too much alkali from causes such as diarrhea, malnutrition, ketoacidosis, or renal insufficiency.

Test Taking Tip

Have knowledge of what causes acid-base imbalances.

Video Rationale