Background Information [chapter]

2012 Handbook of Retinal Screening in Diabetes  
Case Number Eight Background Information Potassium abnormalities are common problems in emergency medicine. Most of a patient's potassium is contained intracellularly, with only a small fraction remaining in the extracellular fluid. Hyperkalemia is defined as a serum potassium level greater than 5.5 mEq/L and generally occurs either due to decreased excretion of potassium or to increased potassium secretion into the extracellular space. Potassium excretion may be impaired by renal failure,
more » ... renal failure, renal tubular acidosis, hypoaldosteronism, and by medications such as potassium sparing diuretics, NSAIDs, and ACE inhibitors. Events that increase secretion of potassium into the intracellular space include increased potassium ingestion, blood cell breakdown due to hemolysis, burns, tumor lysis, muscle breakdown due to rhabdomyolysis, and redistribution of potassium from the intracellular space due to such things as acidosis or medications.
doi:10.1002/9781119968573.ch13 fatcat:yy4mhunecrecpauamco2bzzge4