I'm studying for a test that is going to include a lot of acidosis and alkalosis information, and I'm trying to come up with a general idea of what patients would look like with metabolic and respiratory acidosis and alkalosis. Can you guys help? I'm sure I'm missing plenty of signs and symptoms. These are my ideas:
Metabolic acidosis: S/S: Possibly breathing fast (to blow off CO2), disorientation/confusion, poor kidney function, low pH and bicarbonate in ABGs. Can be from diabetic ketoacidosis, severe diarrhea, or major exercising (in lactic acidosis).
Metabolic alkalosis: S/S: vomiting, diarrhea, changes in level of consciousness, hypertension, poor kidney function. High pH and bicarbonate.
Respiratory acidosis: S/S: Depressed respirations (not blowing off enough CO2), lethargy, fatigue. Can be from respiratory disease, like COPD, or narcotics. ABGs will have low pH and high CO2. Bicarbonate may increase to compensate. Put them in high Fowler's if possible to help respirations.
Respiratory alkalosis: S/S: Tachypnea, often d/t hyperventilation or overuse of ventilators, as well as dizziness and light-headedness. ABGs will have high pH and low CO2. Use a paper bag or turn down the ventilator settings.