Anyone have the formula for correcting Calcium based on the Albumin level??

  1. Hi all! Need help. I used to know the formula for correcting the calcium using the albumin but I am drawing a blank on it and none of my co-workers know it. I know if the albumin is low it can give a falsely low calcium level. Anyone have the formula?? I know to get a true calcium level it is best to get an ionized calcium level, but the hospital I am at does not do this to the best of my knowledge.
    Thanks, Kimberly
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  2. Visit KR profile page

    About KR

    Joined: Jan '70; Posts: 264; Likes: 24
    Pediatric Home Care RN Nursing Supervisor
    Specialty: 11 year(s) of experience in ICU, Agency, Travel, Home Care

    5 Comments

  3. by   papawjohn
    Hey KR

    I'll try this from memory (dangerous at my age) and check on it later, since I'm 'bout to head off to work.

    Subtract the Pt's albumin level from the minimum normal level.
    Multiply by 1.8.
    Add that number to the Pt's Ca level.

    Like I say, I'll post tomorrow and see how close that is. But I'm pretty sure that's it.

    Papaw John
  4. by   papawjohn
    OK, waiting for half-time before I take my shower--sitting at keyb'd--get to thinking I didn't get that calc right--started playing google..

    Here's the corrected calc:

    For every 1 mg/dl albumin is less that 4.0, add 0.8 to the pt's calcium level to 'correct' it. The formula: [(4 - albumin) x 0.8] + Ca++ = corrected Ca++

    But there were a couple of abstracts indicating that this is a VERY rough 'correction' and that 'ionized calcium levels' are preferred.

    NOW!!! Into my scrubs

    Papaw John
  5. by   KR
    The formula I got was:
    Normal albumin-pt's albumin, x0.8.
    Then add that number to the pt's calcium.

    I agree with you that the best method is the I. cal. but unfortunately the hosp. I am doing agency at can't run those.

    Thanks for your input.
    Kimberly
  6. by   KR
    I did not get the email alert that someone had answered my post. I need to update my email. Sorry for the slow reply.
  7. by   Mags4711
    Quote from KR
    ...I agree with you that the best method is the I. cal. but unfortunately the hosp. I am doing agency at can't run those.

    Thanks for your input.
    Kimberly
    Do the blood gas machines there have the capability to run electrolytes? If so, they can usually give you an iCal.

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