assessment of what is going on
Assessment of acid base disorders requires knowledge of:
- respiratory component - PCO2
- metabolic component:
- standard bicarbonate
- base excess - greater than three implies metabolic alkalosis, less than minus three implies metabolic acidosis
There is usually a correspondence between respiratory performance and the metabolic derangement, e.g. a moderate metabolic acidosis will cause moderate hyperventilation. If this correspondence breaks down then another pathology should be suspected.
Understanding what is going on may be helped by a working knowledge of the Henderson-Hasselbalch equation.
Last reviewed 01/2018