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Electrolytes (Na+, K+, Ca2+, Mg2+) Patient teaching for foods containing potassium:Potassium (K+)3.5-5.0 mEq/LK+= H+Major cation in ICF, vital role in cell metabolism; transmission of nerve impulses, function of cardiac, lung, & muscle tissues, & acid-base balance. Has reciprocal action w/ sodium.
NURSING CONSIDERATIONS: (when potassium is low) Monitor for dysrhythmias, such as PVCs (premature ventricular contractions), ventricular tachycardia, flattening T waves, and ST depression.Provide dietary education & encourage foods in K+(avocados, dried fruit, cantaloupe, bananas, potatoes, spinach, tomatoes) or provide oral supplements. Monitor for & maintain an adequate urine output. Monitor for shallow, ineffective respirations, diminished breath sounds, decreased LOC, ensure safety.Monitor cardiac rhythm & intervene promptly as needed.Monitor clients receiving digoxin. Hypokalemia increases the risk for digoxin toxicity.oHypokalemia = Metabolic AlkalosisMonitor bowel sounds and abdominal distention and intervene as needed.IV POTASSIUM SUPPLEMENTATION: oMixed by a pharmacist & double‐checked by 2 nurses prior to administration.oDilute potassium to a concentration of no more than 1 mEq potassium to 10 mL solution& infuse slowly, no faster than 10 mEq/hr.oMonitor for phlebitis (tissue irritant). Discontinue the IV & notify the provider for infiltration of potassium. Never IV bolus (high risk of cardiac arrest) Hyperkalemia: potentially life threatening due to risk of cardiac arrest.oMetabolic acidosis Nursing care: If potassium levels are extremely high, dialysis might be required. Administer IV fluids w/ dextrose & regular insulin. Monitor cardiac rhythm & intervene as needed.oTo increase potassium excrete administer loop diuretic (furosemide) to increase excretion of potassium from the renal system. oSodium polystyrene sulfonate is given orally as an enema, it increases the excretion of potassium from the GI. Calcium (Ca+)9-10.5 mg/dLFound in the body’s cell’s, bones, & teeth. Calcium is essential for proper functioning of the cardiovascular, neuromuscular, & endocrine systems, as well as blood clotting & bone & teeth formation. Nursing careIf too little calcium administers supplements, (carefully monitor respiratory & cardiovascular status). Initiate seizure precautions, keep emergency equipment on standby. oFoods in (Ca+) dairy products & dark green veggies. If too much calcium increase the clients activity level, limit calcium intake, encourage fluids to promote excretion, encourage fiber to promote bowel elimination. Implement safety if client is confused, monitor pathological fractures. oEncourage fluid intake to decrease risk for renal calcium stone formation. oMonitor blood clots, measure calf circumference. Magnesium (Mg+)1.3-2.1 mEq/LFound in the bones. Magnesium in smaller amounts is found w/in the body cells.