Nursing Care for Hypokalemia Singapore
Hypokalemia is a condition in which there is a decreased in the level of potassium in the circulating blood of our body. Hypo means decreased below normal level, kalium is potassium while the suffix emia means blood. Potassium is one of the important type of electrolytes in our body which has important function for the heart and muscle. The normal amount of potassium in the blood is 3.5-5.3 mmol/L. At severe level (less than 2.5 mmol/L), this can become a life-threatening condition for a patient. Thus, immediate and emergency management and treatment must be done to increase the levels and potassium ion in the body.
CausesThere are various causes related for this electrolyte condition. Common conditions include vomiting or diarrhea causes depletion of electrolytes in the body. Other causes may include metabolic diseases like chronic kidney disease, DKA, Primary aldosteronism to name a few. Other causes that are non-metabolic are excessive alcohol intake, use of laxatives to name a few and use of certain drug like antibiotics.
Sign and SymptomsClinical symptoms of mild hypokalemia will usually not elicit any medical pro blem. However, for the severe ones, it may cause weakness, muscle pain, cramps, tremor and constipation. There can also be paralysis and respiratory depression among severe patients.
Nursing Care PlanFor a patient suspected with low potassium, the nurse must be aware of the signs and symptoms which should be reported immediately to a physician. If there are symptoms, several test can be implemented by the nurse as ordered. First is blood extraction which can confirm low levels of potassium. Another is ECG which the view shows flat or inverted T waves and U wave. Once confirmed, the doctor must search for the cause and treat it. Usually, potassium therapy replacement through IV is given. This is mixed in saline content fluid solution and not as a bolus (it will cause IMMEDIATE DEATH). If there is mild hypokalemia, potassium tablets called Kalium Durule can be taken by the patient. Another thing the nurse can do is closely monitor the patient which is usually done in the ICU. Lastly, diet rich in potassium can help regain the health of the patient. Before going home, the nurse can share and help the patient identify potassium rich foods and educate the patient about this condition.
ConclusionPotassium is an important electrolyte in our bodies. For patients having this condition, they must be immediately brought to the nearest hospital for evaluation. Patient can google ads, study or scribd for reference.
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