Urea Cycle (Nursing)

by Rhonda Lawes

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    00:01 Hi, welcome to our video series on interpreting lab values.

    00:05 In this one, I'm gonna dig a little deeper into BUN or blood urea nitrogen because I want you to understand where those come from.

    00:14 Alright, don't panic, I know you see a molecule up there.

    00:18 When I was in chemistry class, I used to break out in a sweat when I saw that.

    00:23 I have a reason, there's a method to my madness in walking you through thi.s All nurses need to understand where BUN comes from.

    00:32 So nitrogen in the blood that comes from your urea seems pretty simple but I want to walk you through the steps.

    00:39 You have a very clear understanding, I don't want you to have to memorize, I want you to understand what's going on behind it.

    00:46 So let me talk to you today about the urea cycle, okay, you heard me - cycle, C-Y-C-L-E Here's what goes down.

    00:56 Ammonia is a highly toxic waste product - you already know that but too much of it in your body, we're gonna have some big problems.

    01:05 Here's how the urea cycle help us with ammmonia, because ammonia happens when protein is broken down.

    01:13 It can't get rid of that in our body unless it's converted to urea and that's this cycle - the urea cycle.

    01:19 The urea cycle helps us take that toxic ammonia, break it down so we can get rid of it from the body.

    01:27 Now it takes this whole cycle of biochemical reactions, so stay calm.

    01:33 If you're a chemistry nerd quit picking on us, if you're like me and chemistry was really hard for you, hang with me I'm gonna get you to where you need to go.

    01:42 Now these are the normal values.

    01:44 Right, normal is 7-20 (mg/dL), that's the value we use for this series.

    01:48 The high range is when we're really talking about our patient is in trouble Now again we've got a long list there and you know how I feel about lists.

    01:56 My brain can't remember those but I know three main things I think about when it be when the BUN is elevated.

    02:02 I think about organ dysfunction - both the liver and the kidneys.

    02:06 I think about excess protein which could be upper GI bleeding or high protein intake in my diet or I think about significant dehydration.

    02:16 So any time I see a high BUN, if the organs weren't working, I've got extra protein or I'm significantly dehydrated, all those will cause my BUN to go up.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Urea Cycle (Nursing) by Rhonda Lawes is from the course Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) – Renal Assessment (Nursing).

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Ammonia is changed into urea and is excreted by the kidneys
    2. Ammonia is excreted unchanged by the kidneys
    3. Ammonia is chemically changed into arginine and is excreted by the kidneys
    4. Ammonia is converted into citrulline and is excreted by the kidneys

    Author of lecture Urea Cycle (Nursing)

     Rhonda Lawes

    Rhonda Lawes

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