>>> Update: For a new take on kayexalate, see Mak Moayedi's Lecture
Hey folks. As I get ready for ACEP, I just wanted to get a quick podcast put up. One of the listeners requested an episode on the treatment of hyperkalemia in the ED.
There was a fantastic article published in Critical Care Medicine on the topic by a Dr. Weisberg. I go through my management and discuss some of the pearls from the article.
Additional References added Feb 2012
ECG is insensitive and non-specific for severe hyperkalemia issues; essentially is crap (Clin J Am Soc Nephrol 3: 324-330, 2008). ECG peaked T waves, that resolved after K normalized were noted in only 1 of the 14 hyperkalemic patients who went on to have arrhythmia or cardiac arrest. Only half of them had any T-wave changes.
Calcium Gluconate doesn't require Hepatic Metabolization before it is active(2360741)
Hyperkalemia and the ECG
from Steve Smith's Blog
1. When a patient is bradycardic, especially if irregular, one must always think of hyperK and one must get a 12-lead ECG.
2. One must recognize this pattern as hyperK
3. Calcium's effect is almost miraculous
4. Slow atrial fibrillation implies an sick AV node, or one affected by electrolytes, ischemia, or medications/drugs. Otherwise, the ventricular response should be fast.