Metabolic acidosis is a pathophysiologic state that is associated with serious morbidities and mortality. The diagnosis of metabolic acidosis is perplexing for novice and expert advanced practice nurses for many reasons. Its differential diagnosis is broad and includes common and rare, complex diseases. The diagnosis of metabolic acidosis is also difficult because it is frequently associated with mixed, acid-base disorders. Its clinical manifestations are often nonspecific or subclinical, which means that its diagnosis is made from laboratory and other diagnostic tests, Timely diagnosis of metabolic acidosis is needed to institute appropriate therapy to avoid negative physiologic effects.
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Diagnostic Approach to Common Medical Problems in the Hospitalized Adult| August 01 1997
Nancy L. Szaflarski, PhD, ACNP-CS, FCCMA;
*From the Adult Critical Care Nurse Practitioner Program, Division of Adult Health and Illness and School of Nursing, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Reprint requests to Nancy L. Szaflarski, 111 North Rengstorff, #82, Mountain View, CA 94043.
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AACN Adv Crit Care (1997) 8 (3): 481–496.
Nancy L. Szaflarski, C. William Hanson; Metabolic Acidosis. AACN Adv Crit Care 1 August 1997; 8 (3): 481–496. doi:
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