Despite current management, lactic acidosis continues to carry a high mortality because of the severity of the precipitating illness and the complications of lactic acidosis itself. Continuous nursing assessment of hemodynamic function, oxygenation and ventilation, and awareness of specific metabolic indicators (anion-gap, acid-base status) is mandatory. Early recognition of clinical situations likely to precede abnormal lactate accumulation can do much to improve the effectiveness of treatment.

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