Grab our best-selling pharmacology coloring book!

critical care

Hyperkalemia, Signs and Symptoms of

Hyperkalemia is defined as a serum or plasma potassium level above the upper limits of normal, usually greater than 5.0 mEq/L to 5.5 mEq/L. While mild hyperkalemia is usually asymptomatic, high levels of potassium may cause life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias, muscle weakness, or paralysis.⁠

True hyperkalemia may be caused by increased potassium intake, transcellular movement of intracellular potassium into the extracellular space, and decreased renal excretion.⁠

Hypernatremia, Signs & Symptoms of

🖇️ High levels of sodium can lead to a condition called hypernatremia, where the serum sodium concentration > 145 mEq/L (> 145 mmol/L). ⁠

🖇️ Sodium is a dominant cation in extracellular fluid and necessary for the maintenance of intravascular volume. When there is a large increase in sodium in the serum, the signs and symptoms often relate to fluids as you can see with today’s mnemonic.⁠

🖇️ The human body maintains sodium and water homeostasis by concentrating the urine secondary to the action of antidiuretic hormone (ADH) and increased fluid intake by a powerful thirst response.⁠