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Respiratory Alkalosis: Causes and Nursing Interventions

by Rhonda Lawes

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    00:01 Respiratory alkalosis is the opposite problem, it's a decrease in CO2.

    00:06 Now respiratory alkalosis, caused by hyperventilation.

    00:11 Now what do we do to treat it? Well we're looking to figure out why are you hyperventilating because that's not normal Now you look at if a patient, we could actually put a paper bag over their face.

    00:24 That sounds really bizarre, we don't usually do that in the hospital but if we've got somebody who is hyperventilating, what you want to do is figure out why are they hyperventilating and fix that problem.

    00:35 Now we could put something over their face like a paper bag and then rebreathe their own CO2, that would raise the level back up.

    00:43 If they're on a ventilator, we would decrease that tidal volume - the size of the breath that they get or decrease the rate Because a patient on a ventilator, if those settings are not best for their body at that time, it could put them into respiratory alkalosis.

    00:58 So look at what is causing the person to hypervewntilate, maybe they're frightened of something, maybe they've had or in extreme pain, whatever it is, address the cause of that anxiety, it help the patient to calm down.

    01:12 Now here's a tip, one of my pet peeves is what you see nurses do they walk in a room and a patient is really upset, they'll say something nice like this.

    01:20 "Calm down!", I hate that. That never works, right? If I'm air hungry, I'm really nervous, I'm really anxious, someone just screams at me to calm down, It's not therapeutic so be patient, take the time, figure out what your patient needs so you can help them deal with that anxiety.

    01:40 It maybe just talking them through it, relaxation exercises, they might need some medication but be very patient, remain calm with them and help them get back in control.

    01:51 Now what does the body do? That's what you can do, what the body can do, we're in respiratory alkalosis, we look to the opposite system system - that's the renal system.

    02:00 Since we're already in alkalosis, we need less bicarb.

    02:05 Hey, hopefully you fix the problem long before the kidneys have to try to help.


    About the Lecture

    The lecture Respiratory Alkalosis: Causes and Nursing Interventions by Rhonda Lawes is from the course Interpretation of Arterial Blood Gases (ABGs) (Nursing).


    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Have the client breathe into a paper bag
    2. Adjust the tidal volume on the ventilator
    3. Address the cause of the client's anxiety if hyperventilating
    4. Place the client on BiPAP
    5. Administer bronchodilators

    Author of lecture Respiratory Alkalosis: Causes and Nursing Interventions

     Rhonda Lawes

    Rhonda Lawes


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