♥ This lecture is in the cardiac section because At the start of the video he goes over a situation of EKG strip changes and how they figured it was d/t PCN (Penicillin) that was given that also contained Potassium or atomic symbol “K”, as lab values show it. Remember, a ECG strip is only part of the assessment. With hyperkalema you will see muscle weakness and nausea and that is only when the value is at a very high end. Normal being 3.5 -5.2 and above that is when you would start to see symptoms.
♥ The most common time to be on the lookout for high K is with patients with kidney failure. Excess K is excreted by the urine and if the kidneys are not functioning, the K is one element not released in the urine. Mild hyperkalemia is 5.2 -6.0 and this may not affect kidney patients as they tend to run high.
♥ If a question on the nursing exam asks, “Which patient would you tend to first?” and “An ESRD (End Stage Renal Disease) patient with a Potassium of 5.6 mEq/L.” Chances are you could rule that answer out because that’s not that much of an elevation for that population. However, if it came with a change in the patient’s baseline EKG rhythm and a c/o lethargy, you would pay attention to that patient sooner.
♥ The more you know about the inside workings of the body the better prepared you are to anticipate and watch for typical changes. Try to understand the Electrolytes and angiotensin – rennin – aldosterone inner works to help you in the real patient setting.