Blog | Monday, May 14, 2012

Dangerous electrolytes, part 1


At the Internal Medicine 2012 meeting, I presented a one-hour session on dangerous electrolyte disorders. The patient presentation I used has many parts, so I thought you would like to work through this one.

The patient, a 40-something-year-old woman, has a long history of alcohol abuse. Recently she has had minimal oral intake with much vomiting. BP 100/60, pulse 120
120, 67, 32, 99
1.9, 21, 0.7, 8.9

pH=7.6
pCO2=26
pO2=100
HCO3=21

Your job is to identify all the abnormalities in this panel, and suggest the sequence of events most likely to result in these numbers. What other information do you want? More information will continue next week.

db is the nickname for Robert M. Centor, MD, FACP. db stands both for Dr. Bob and da boss. He is an academic general internist at the University of Alabama School of Medicine, and is the Associate Dean for the Huntsville Regional Medical Campus of UASOM. He also serves as a frequent ward attending at the Birmingham VA Hospital. This post originally appeared at his blog, db's Medical Rants.