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J Am Osteopath Assoc. 1995 Jan;95(1):52-7.

Bicarbonate therapy in the treatment of lactic acidosis: medicine or toxin?

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Division of Trauma/Surgical Critical Care, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia 19104.


The metabolic acidosis resulting from poor tissue perfusion is considered to have several significant hemodynamic effects. Correction of the acidosis with sodium bicarbonate seems to be a rational approach to this problem. However, the current medical literature shows little clinical benefit to this tactic. In fact, indiscriminate bicarbonate administration may, itself, have deleterious effects. Concurring with the absence of a consistent therapeutic advantage to the use of sodium bicarbonate in the treatment of lactic acidosis due to inadequate tissue perfusion, the American Heart Association removed the routine use of sodium bicarbonate from the treatment of cardiac arrest in the algorithms of the Advanced Cardiac Life Support course. Although the debate continues, a detailed review of the medical literature does not support the use of sodium bicarbonate in this setting.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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