Hypothermia and k shift

  1. During therapeutic hypothermia for post arrest and/or anoxic brain injury you have a potassium shift into the cell. Can anybody explain to me why potassium shifts into the cell. Is it due to acidosis or something else?
    Last edit by Esme12 on Nov 4, '12
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    Joined: Jun '12; Posts: 3


  3. by   turnforthenurse
    Acidosis would cause potassium to leak out of the cell, leading to a hyperkalemia. Hypokalemia is caused by the hypothermia-induced diuresis with therapeutic hypothermia, which is why K (and other electrolytes) need to be monitored closely.