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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