Send to

Choose Destination
Am J Emerg Med. 2000 Jul;18(4):457-61.

Hypophosphatemia in the emergency department therapeutics.

Author information

Division of Emergency Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA.


Although hypophosphatemia is relatively uncommon, it may be seen in anywhere from 20% to 80% of patients who present to the ED with alcoholic emergencies, diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), and sepsis. Severe hypophosphatemia, as defined by a serum level below 1.0 mg/dL, may cause acute respiratory failure, myocardial depression, or seizures. Because hypophosphatemia is not as often treated by ED physicians, becoming familiar with a single intravenous phosphate solution and specific guidelines for phosphate repletion are essential. One mL of the most commonly available phosphate solution (K2PO4) contains 4.4 meq of potassium and 3 mmol (93 mgs) of phosphate. Administering K2PO4 at a rate of 1 mL per hour is almost always a very safe and appropriate treatment for hypophosphatemia. This article provides guidelines for phosphate therapy in hypophosphatemic ED patients including those in DKA, those presenting with alcohol-related complaints including alcoholic ketoacidosis and patients with acute exacerbation of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center