How is severe hyperkalemia (high serum potassium levels) treated?

Updated: Jun 20, 2018
  • Author: Eleanor Lederer, MD, FASN; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN  more...
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Answer

In patients with severe hyperkalemia, treatment focuses on immediate stabilization of the myocardial cell membrane, rapid shifting of potassium to the intracellular space, and total body potassium elimination. In addition, all sources of exogenous potassium should be immediately discontinued; including intravenous (IV) and oral potassium supplementation, total parenteral nutrition, and any blood product transfusion. Drugs associated with hyperkalemia should also be discontinued (see Etiology). [62]


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