How should ongoing potassium losses affect the administration of extra potassium?

Updated: Dec 06, 2018
  • Author: Eleanor Lederer, MD, FASN; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN  more...
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Answer

Take ongoing potassium losses into consideration by measuring the volume and potassium concentration of body fluid losses. If the patient is severely hypokalemic, avoid glucose-containing parenteral fluids to prevent an insulin-induced shift of potassium into the cells. If the patient is acidotic, correct the potassium first to prevent an alkali-induced shift of potassium into the cells.


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