Acidosis and Alkalosis

Topics: PH, Carbon dioxide, Bicarbonate Pages: 4 (772 words) Published: September 4, 2013

* An increased acidity in the blood and other body tissue (i.e., an increased hydrogen ion concentration). If not further qualified, it usually refers to acidity of the blood plasma. * Acidosis may not cause any symptoms or it may be associated with nonspecific symptoms such as fatigue, nausea, and vomiting. Acute acidosis may also cause an increased rate and depth of breathing, confusion, and headaches, and it can lead to seizures, coma, and in some cases death. * Common causes

* One key to distinguish between respiratory and metabolic acidosis is that in respiratory acidosis, the CO2 is increased while the bicarbonate is either normal (uncompensated) or increased (compensated). Compensation occurs if respiratory acidosis is present, and a chronic phase is entered with partial buffering of the acidosis through renal bicarbonate retention.*

* Respiratory acidosis results from a build-up of carbon dioxide in the blood (hypercapnia) due to hypoventilation. It is most often caused by pulmonary problems, although head injuries, drugs (especially anaesthetics and sedatives), and brain tumors can cause this acidemia. Pneumothorax, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, asthma, severe pneumonia, and aspiration are among the most frequent causes. It can also occur as a compensatory response to chronicmetabolic alkalosis. * Respiratory acidosis - Reduced CO2 elimination

* Decreased breathing rate (respiratory drive) due to drugs or central nervous system disorders * Impaired breathing and lung movement (respiratory mechanics) due, for example, to trauma or abnormal presence of air between the lung and the wall of the chest (pneumothorax) * Respiratory muscle/nerve disease (myasthenia gravis, botulism, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Guillain-Barre syndrome) * Airway obstruction (food or foreign object)

* Lung disease
* Metabolic acidosis may...
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