At our hospital a low mag level isn't considered critical until it is <1. While I do not wait for the lab to call w/ my lab levels and I am on top of looking at my results, I do remember (prior to moving to ICU) that I was once caught off guard while floor nursing with an extremely low level. Became super busy and was unable to check labs in a timely manner on my 6 patients. When things settled, I was shocked to find that my pt had a mag level of 1.2 and that I wasn't notified. That is when I found out that it isn't considered critical (requiring notification) unless it is < 1.
I suppose (to answer my own question) it is the same with K+ levels. It isn't considered critical until it is 3.0...yet it is aggressively replaced with lower levels.
My concern is that most often the docs are usually aggressive in replacing even modest low levels of magnesium. I am wondering what the rationale is behind not considering it a critical level until it is < 1? That just seems really really low to me.
I would appreciate your thoughts.