This material must not be used for commercial purposes, or in any hospital or medical facility. Failure to comply may result in legal action.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Hypokalemia is a low level of potassium in your blood. Potassium helps control how your muscles, heart, and digestive system work. Hypokalemia occurs when your body loses too much potassium or does not absorb enough.
WHILE YOU ARE HERE:
is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.
You will receive potassium to bring your levels back to normal. This may be given as a pill or IV.
- Blood tests will be done to monitor your potassium levels. They will also show how well your treatment is working.
- Blood gases , or arterial blood gas (ABG), is when your blood is tested for oxygen and carbon dioxide levels. The blood is taken from a vein in your wrist, arm, or groin. The results can tell healthcare providers how well your lungs are working.
- Urine tests may be done to check your kidney function and help monitor your condition.
- Telemetry is continuous monitoring of your heart rhythm. Sticky pads placed on your skin connect to an EKG machine that records your heart rhythm.
A dietitian may meet with you to plan the best way to help you get enough potassium in the foods you eat. Eat foods that are high in potassium, such as bananas, tomatoes, oranges, turkey, and milk. Orange juice, citrus juices, and tomato juice are also high in potassium. Avoid caffeine.
You can get hyperkalemia (high levels of potassium) if you receive too much potassium too quickly. This can lead to heart damage. Without treatment, your symptoms will worsen. Your muscle tissue can be damaged and cause paralysis. The muscles that help you breathe can be affected. This can be life-threatening.
CARE AGREEMENT:You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.
© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.
The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.