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Skip Navigation LinksKCC Home > Academic Departments > Biological Sciences > Bio12 > Acid-Base Balance

-Acid-Base Balance Problem Page-

1. Choose one of the problems described below.
2. Prepare your solution as a word document.
3. Send it to your professor as an email attachment. You will receive an email response.

Problem #1:An unconscious, overweight 53-year-old man is brought to an emergency room where the following signs are observed:
a. blood sugar - 350 mg%
b. highly elevated blood ketones
c. arterial blood pH - 6.9
d. blood potassium - high normal
The man is breathing rapidly and deeply. An iv infusion containing buffer for pH (e.g., sodium bicarbonate), insulin, glucose, and potassium restores most of the blood parameters to the normal range and the individual regains consciousness. Utilize the Internet or other sources to answer the following questions:

1. Why do you suspect the individual is unconscious? Relate this answer to the blood pH and blood sugar values.
2. Why did the iv contain a pH buffer (sodium bicarbonate)? What are the equation(s) for the medically beneficial interaction of sodium bicarbonate with the excess blood acidity?
3. Since the individual's blood potassium was already in the high normal range, why was potassium present in the iv infusion?
4. Since the individual's blood glucose was at 350 mg%, why was glucose present in the iv infusion?
5. What is insulin's mechanism of action in altering blood glucose levels?
6. Why was the individual breathing so deeply and rapidly when brought into the emergency room? What are the equations that explain the effect of deep and rapid breathing on the blood pH?

Problem #2:An individual hospitalized with pneumonia is discovered to have the following blood parameters:

a. Arterial pH of 7.2.
b. Elevated alkali reserve (blood bicarbonate level, normally ranging from 23-27 mEq/L). Utilize the Internet or other sources to answer the following questions:

1. Utilizing the equation for the bicarbonate buffer system along with the buffer system's interaction with the respiratory system, can you explain why the body is in a state of respiratory acidosis?
2. What system of the body is responsible for the elevated alkali reserve level?
3. Utilizing the bicarbonate buffer system equation, can you explain the compensatory value of an elevated alkali reserve level?

Email your Professor at firstname.lastname@kbcc.cuny.edu

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