Patho Patho #9
A client has a Ca+ level of 7.9 mg/dl. Which additional electrolyte imbalance does the nurse suspect?
- 1. K+ 5.0 mEq/L
This answer choice is not correct as K+ is unaffected by decreased Ca+ levels. A K+ level of 5.0 mEq/L is within normal limits.
- 2. Phosphorus 6.0 mg/dl
This answer is correct because Ca+ and Phos+ have inverse relationships. A normal Ca+ level ranges from 8.5 mg/dL- 10.5 mg/dL and Phosphorus ranges from 2.5-4.5 mg/dL.
- 3. Na+ 135 meQ/L
This answer choice is not correct because Na+ is not directly affected by a decreased Ca+ level. A Na+ level of 135 mEq/L is within normal limits.
- 4. Mg 2.1 mg/dl
This answer choice is not correct as Mg+ is not directly affected by decreased Ca+ levels. A Mg+ level of 2.1 mg/dL is within normal limits.
Calcium and phosphorus are two of the most important electrolytes to focus on when studying fluid and electrolyte content. Calcium and phosphorus have an inverse relationship so if one is elevated then the other will be decreased.
Calcium and phosphorus levels are directly inverse of each other. This means that if one of these electrolyte levels is elevated, then the other will be decreased. Calcium is normally 8.5 mg/dL so a level of 7.9 mg/dL is low. A common cause of hypocalcemia/ hyperphosphatemia is chronic renal failure.
Test Taking Tip
It is essential to learn electrolyte normal values of your program. Values can vary from setting to setting but for testing purposes be sure to learn the levels your program uses.