I hope I can explain this in a way that is understandable. I will assume you know the normal ranges for PH, CO2, Bicarb, and the O2.
The main thing to look at is the PH:
-If it is less than 7.35 it is called acidosis (metabolic and/or respiratory)
-If it is greater than 7.45 it is called alkalosis (metabolic and/or
-To determine if it is respiratory or metabolic, you have to look
at the CO2 and the Bicarb (HCO3-). If the CO2 follows the
PH, then it is repiratory. And if the bicarb follows the PH, then it is metabolic. For example: If the PH is 7.20 and
the CO2 is 50, then this will be repiratory acidosis, because the PH is in the acidosis range and the CO2 is greater than what it should be which means that the patient is breathing slower and retaining this CO2 and making themselves acidotic.
-Now if the bicarb followed the PH, then it would be labled metabolic acidosis or alkalosis depending on the numbers. For example: if the PH is 7.50 and the bicarb is say 30, this would show that there is metabolic alkalosis going on in the patient. Since the PH is greater than 7.45 this would show alkalosis. And along with the PH being in the alkalotic range, the bicarb is also in the alkalotic range since anything above 26 (depends on what your hospital/school says) is alkalotic.
-What was confusing to me at first was learning that a decreased PH means acidosis and and increased PH means alkalosis. I kept thinking that an increased PH meant that the body was in acidosis; but finally learned that the opposite is true.
PH Acidosis<----- <7.35 - >7.45 --------> Alkalosis
CO2 Acidosis <----- >45 - <35 --------> Alkalosis
HCO3 Acidosis <----- <22 - >26 --------> Alkalosis
Anything in between the numbers in each line is in the normal range.
*Decreased PH/Increased CO2 = Respiratory acidosis
*Increased PH/Decreased CO2 = Respiratory alkalosis
*Decreased PH/Decreased Bicarb = Metabolic acidosis
*Incrased PH/Increased Bicarb = Metabolic alkalosis
That's very very basic. This in not even including when the body is compensating.
If you want to see if the body is compensating, then you have to first determine if the body is in respiratory or metabolic acidosis or alkalosis. Once you determine that, then you can look to see if the body is compensating. So for example, if you have Repiratory acidosis with partial compensation, your numbers may look like this:
PH 7.32 (acidic)
CO2 48 (acidic)
Bicarb 28 (alkalotic)
You can see that the CO2 follows the PH. There-
fore, this is labled Resp acidosis. But you can
also see that the bicarb is increased towards the
alkalotic range..and the reason this is occuring is
because its trying to bring the body back to a more
alkalotic range. But because the bicarb doesn't follow
the PH, this would not be considered metabolic anything.
As a matter of fact, it is going in the opposite direction than
the PH. When I say "following" the PH, I mean that if the PH is
acidic, then the thing (CO2 or bicarb) that is "following" the PH has to ALSO be acidic. I hope this makes sense. But in this problem, since the PH hasn't been corrected, this is labled "partial" compensation.
I hope I didn't screw any of this up. If anything, I hoped it helped.