Saunders Acid-Base Balance Practice Questions

A nurse reviews the arterial blood gas results of a client and notes the following: pH 7.45, Pco2 of 30, and HCO3- of 22. The nurse analyzes these results as indicating which condition?

1) Metabolic Acidosis, compensated
2) Respiratory Alkalosis, compensated
3) Metabolic Alkalosis, compensated
4) Respiratory Acidosis, compensated

Answer: 2

Rational: The normal pH is 7.3-7.45. In a respiratory condition, an opposite effect will be seen between the pH and the Pco2. In this condition, the pH is a the high end of normal and the Pco2 is low. In an alkalotic condition, the pH is elevated. Therefore the values identified in the question indicated a respiratory alkalosis. When the pH returns to a normal value, compensation has occurred.

A nurse is caring for a client with a nasogastric tube that is attached to low suction. The nurse monitors the client, knowing that the client is at risk for which acid-base disorder?

1) Metabolic Acidosis
2) Metabolic Alkalosis
3) Respiratory Acidosis
4) Respiratory Alkalosis

Answer: 2

Rational: Metabolic Alkalosis is defined as a deficit or loss of hydrogen ions or acids or an excess of base (bicarbonate) that results from the accumulation of base or from a loss of acid without a comparable loss of base in the body fluids. This occurs in conditions resulting in hypovolemia, the loss of gastric fluid, excessive bicarbonate intake, the massive transfusion of whole blood, and hyperaldosteronism. Loss of gastric fluid via nasogastric suction or vomiting causes Metabolic Alkalosis as a result of the loss of hydrochloric acid. Options 1, 3, & 4 are incorrect interpretations.

A client with a 3-day history of nausea and vomiting presents to the emergency department. The client is hypoventilating and has a respiratory rate of 10 breaths/min. Arterial blood gases are drawn and the nurse reviews the results, expecting to note which of the following?

1) A decreased pH and an increased CO2
2) An increased pH and a decreased Co2
3) A decreased pH and a decreased HCO3-
4) An increased pH with an increased HCO3-

Answer: 4

Rational: Clients experiencing nausea and vomiting would most likely present with metabolic alkalosis resulting from loss of gastric acid, thus causing the pH and HCO3- to increase. Symptoms experienced by the client would include hypventilation and tachycardia. Option 2 reflects a respiratory acidotic condition. Option 2 reflects a respiratory alkalotic condition. Option 3 reflects a metabolic acidotic condition.

A nurse caring for a client with an ileostomy understands the the client is most at risk for developing which acid-base disorder?

1) Metabolic Acidosis
2) Metabolic Alkalosis
3) Respiratory Acidosis
4) Respiratory Alkalosis

Answer: 1

Rational: Metabolic Acidosis is defined as total concentration of buffer base that is lower than normal, with a relative increase in the hydrogen ion concentration. This results from loss of buffer bases or the retention of too many acids without sufficient bases, and occurs in conditions such as renal failure, diabetic ketoacidosis, from the production of lactic acid, from the ingestion of toxins (such as acetylsalicylic acid -aka- aspirin), malnutrition, or severe diarrhea. Intestinal secretions are high in bicarbonate and may e lost through enteric drainage tubes or an ileostomy, or with diarrhea. These conditions result in metabolic acidosis. Options 2, 3, & 4 are incorrect interpretations and do not occur in the client with an ileostomy.
**(Base/Bicarbonate is lost through an ileostomy)

A nurse is caring for a client with diabetic ketoacidosis and documents the the client is experiencing Kussmaul’s respirations. Based on this documentation, which of the following did the nurse observe?

1) Respirations that cease for several seconds
2) Respirations that are regular but abnormally slow
3) Respirations that are labored and increased in depth and rate
4) Respirations that are abnormally deep, regular, and increased in rate

Answer: 4

Rational: Kussmal’s respirations are abnormally deep, regular, and increased in rate. Apnea is described as repirations that cease for several seconds. In bradypnea, respirations are regular but abnormally slow. In hyperpnea, respirations are labored and increased in depth and rate.

A client who is found unresponsive has arterial blood gases drawn and the results indicate dthe following: pH is 7.12, Pco2 is 90, and HCO3- is 22. the nurse interprets the results as indicating which condition?

1) Metabolic Acidosis with compensation
2) Respiratory Acidosis with compensation
3) Metabolic Acidosis without compensation
4) Respiratory Acidosis without compensation

Answer: 4

Rational: The acid-base disturbance is respiratory acidosis without compensation. The normal pH is 7.35-7.45. The normal Pco2 is 32-48. In respiratory acidosis the pH is decreased and the pco2 is elevated. The normal bicarbonate (HCO3-) level is 22-27. Because the bicarbonate is still within normal limits, the kidneys have not had time to adjust for this acid-base disturbance. Additionally, the pH is not within normal limits. Therefore the condition is without compensation. Options 1, 2, & 3 are incorrect interpretations.

The nurse plans care for a client with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), understanding that the client is most likely to experience what type of acid-bases imbalance:

1) Metabolic Acidosis
2) Metabolic Alkalosis
3) Respiratory Acidosis
4) Respiratory Alkalosis

Answer: 3

Rational: Respiratory Acidosis is most often caused by hypoventilation in a client with COPD. Other acid-base disturbances can occur in a client with COPD during exacerbation of the disease but the most likely imabalance is respiratory acidosis. Option 1, 2,& 4 are incorrect options.

A nurse reviews the blood gas results of a client with atelectasis. The nurse analyzes the results and determines that the client is experiencing respiratory acidosis. Which of the following validates the nurse’s findings?

1) pH 7.25, Pco2 50,
2) pH 7.35, Pco2 40
3) pH 7.50, Pco2 52
4) pH 7.52, Pco2 28

Answer: 1

Rational: Atelectasis is a condition characterized by the collapse of alveoli, preventing the respiratory exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide in a part of the lungs. The normal pH is 7.35-7.45. The normal Pco2 is 32-48. In respiratory acidosis, the pH is decreased and the Pco2 is elevated. Option 2 identifies normal values. Option 3 identifies an alkalotic condition. Option 4 identifies respiratory alkalosis.

A nurse is caring for a client who is on a mechanical ventilator. Blood gas results indicated a pH of 7.50 and a Pco2 of 30. The nurse has determines that the client is experience respiratory alkalosis. Which laboratory value would most likely be noted in this condition?

1) Sodium level of 145
2) Potassium level of 3
3) Magnesium level of 2
4) Phosphorus level of 4

Answer: 2

Rational: Respiratory alkalosis is defined as a deficit of carbonic acid or a decrease in hydrogen ion concentrations that results from the accumulations of base or from a loss of acid without a comparable loss of base in the body fluids. This occurs in conditions that cause overstimulation of the respiratory system. Clinical manifestations of repiratory alkalosis include headache, tachypnea, paresthesias, tetany, vertigo, convusions, hypkalemia, and hypocalcemia. Options 1, 3, & 4 identify normal laboratory values. Option 2 identifies the presence of hypokalemia.

A nurse notes that a client’s arterial blood gas reults reveal a pH of 7.50 and a Pco2 of 30. The nurse monitors the client for which clinical manifestations associated with these arterial blood gas results?

Select all the apply:
1) Nausea
2) Confusion
3) Bradypnea
4) Tachycardia
5) Hyperkalemia
6) Lightheadedness

Answer: 1, 2, 4, 6

Rational: Respiratory alkalosis is defined as a deficit of carbonic acid or a decrease in hydrogen ion concentrations that results from the accumulations of base or from a loss of acid without a comparable loss of base in the body fluids. This occurs in conditions that cause overstimulation of the respiratory system. Clinical manifestations of repirtory alkalosis include lethargy, lightheadedness, confusion, tachycardia, dysrhythmias related to hypokalemai, nausea, vomiting, epigastric pain, and numbness and tingling of the extremities. Hyperventilation (tachypnea) occurs.

Get instant access to
all materials

Become a Member