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Emerg Med Pract. 2016 Nov;18(11):1-24. Epub 2016 Nov 1.

Evidence-Based Management Of Potassium Disorders In The Emergency Department.

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Director of Emergency Medicine Residency Research, Duke Lifepoint Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center, Johnstown, PA.
Department of Emergency Medicine, Conemaugh Memorial Hospital, Johnstown, PA.


Hypokalemia and hyperkalemia are the most common electrolyte disorders managed in the emergency department. The diagnosis of these potentially life-threatening disorders is challenging due to the often vague symptomatology a patient may express, and treatment options may be based upon very little data due to the time it may take for laboratory values to return. This review examines the most current evidence with regard to the pathophysiology, diagnosis, and management of potassium disorders. In this review, classic paradigms, such as the use of sodium polystyrene and the routine measurement of serum magnesium, are tested, and an algorithm for the treatment of potassium disorders is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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