Monday, March 28, 2016


Hey everyone! Here are some review questions about hyperkalemia:

What is the physical examination finding you are likely to see in a patient with hyperkalemia before you order an ECG?


What is the earliest EKG change seen in patients with hyperkalemia?
Peak T waves

What is the drug given if you see ECG changes in a patient with hyperkalemia? Why?
Calcium gluconate. It is cardioprotective.

Name three rapidly acting therapies: 
Albuterol (I hear it is the fastest but the magnitude of action is small)
Insulin with glucose (Beware of hypoglycemia, it's dangerous)
Bicarbonate (Causes hydrogen ions to come out and potassium to go into the cells)

Name any two therapies used to hasten potassium removal from the body:
Loop diuretics

What is the side effect of sodium polystyrene sulfonate (Kayexalate)? In which patients you do not administer it?
Intestinal necrosis. Do not give it in patients with ileus or bowel obstruction as it may cause perforation.

That's all!

If you could answer all these questions, give yourself a pat on the back!
If not, give a pat anyway, you learnt something new :)


Related posts:
Why does heart stop in diastole when plasma potassium level rises?
Drugs and conditions that enhance Digoxin toxicity and the mechanism behind it

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