Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 3

Franklin H.

Lee Alkalosis and Acidosis Essay


EMS Paramedic Academy 46900
Every living human being survives each day, given that they do not have any illnesses,

thanks to their delicate homeostatic processes. One of the human body’s multiple homeostatic

processes is the maintenance of the blood’s pH level. The pH regulation is vital to the survival of

many organisms. pH “is a measure of how acidic or basic water is… the range goes from 0-14,

with 7 being neutral1.” pH levels less than 7 are considered to be acidotic while levels higher

than 7 are considered to be alkalotic. The pH of human blood is approximately 7.35. When the

pH of blood changes, various physiological functions of the body changes, especially when

dealing with the function of proteins through denaturation. Two major ways that blood may

become acidotic or alkalotic is through respiratory and/or metabolic pathways.

Acidosis, defined as a blood pH level of less than 7.35, results in an overload of H+ ions

in the blood stream: “characterized by an increase in plasma acidity” 2. In addition this may be

due to “acid-base balance disturbance due to alveolar hypoventilation”3 in respiratory acidosis,

where hypercapnia ensues. Any pathological cause that leads to the increase in PaCO2 or H+

levels will cause acidosis if regular homeostatic processes are overwhelmed. In the case of

respiratory acidosis, aiding ventilation, pharmacologic intervention (Bronchodilators, respiratory

stimulants, drug antagonists and bicarbonate4) and oxygen therapy generally improves acidosis.

For metabolic acidosis, the cause may be more pathological in nature. However, it may be

corrected using “alkali therapy to maintain the plasma pH to greater than 7.202.”

1 Perlman, Howard. “pH: Water Properties, from the USGS Water-Science School.” Accessed
June 26, 2016. http://water.usgs.gov/edu/ph.html.
2 Thomas, Christie P. “Metabolic Acidosis: Background, Etiology, Prognosis,” April 24, 2016.

http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/242975-overview.
3 Byrd, Ryland P. “Respiratory Acidosis: Background, Etiology and Pathophysiology,” April 24,

2016. http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/301574-overview.
Franklin H. Lee Alkalosis and Acidosis Essay
EMS Paramedic Academy 46900
Alkalosis, defined as a blood pH level of greater than 7.35, results in a significant

decrease of H+ ions in the blood stream due to an “increase in serum bicarbonate (HCO-3)

concentration4.” Similarly, to respiratory acidosis, respiratory alkalosis is “a disturbance in acid

and base balance due to alveolar hyperventilation5.” Therefore, blowing off too much CO2

causes the pH of the blood to increase. Treatment of respiratory is “primarily directed at

correcting the underlying disorder5”. Coaching patients who are hyperventilating may

significantly improve symptoms and return the pH to 7.35. For metabolic alkalosis, treating the

underlying cause generally improves alkalosis. Chloride drugs may also be used to help treat

metabolic alkalosis.

4 Thomas, Christie P. “Metabolic Alkalosis: Background, Pathophysiology, Etiology,” April 24,


2016. http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/243160-overview.
5 Byrd, Ryland P. “Respiratory Alkalosis: Background, Pathophysiology, Epidemiology,” April 24,

2016. http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/301680-overview.
Franklin H. Lee Alkalosis and Acidosis Essay
EMS Paramedic Academy 46900
Works Cited

1. Christie P Thomas, “Metabolic Acidosis: Background, Etiology, Prognosis,” April 24,

2016, http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/242975-overview.

2. Christie P Thomas, “Metabolic Alkalosis: Background, Pathophysiology, Etiology,”

April 24, 2016, http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/243160-overview.

3. Howard Perlman, “pH: Water Properties, from the USGS Water-Science School,”

accessed June 26, 2016, http://water.usgs.gov/edu/ph.html.

4. Ryland P Byrd, “Respiratory Acidosis: Background, Etiology and Pathophysiology,”

April 24, 2016, http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/301574-overview.

5. Ryland P Byrd, “Respiratory Alkalosis: Background, Pathophysiology, Epidemiology,”

April 24, 2016, http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/301680-overview.