Thursday, 23 February 2017

Question Of The Day: The Neonate
Q. A newborn admitted with pyloric stenosis is lethargic and has poor skin turgor. The primary care provider has ordered I.V. fluids of dextrose water with sodium and potassium. The baby's admission potassium level is 3.4Meq/ L. The nurse should:

A. Notify the primary care provider.
B. Administer the ordered fluids.
C. Verify that the infant has urinated.
D. Have the potassium level redrawn.

Correct Answer: C


Explanation: Normal serum potassium levels are 3.5-4.5 Meq/L. Elevated potassium levels can cause life threatening cardiac arrhythmias. The nurse must verify that the client has the ability to clear potassium through urination before administering the drug. Infants with pyloric stenosis frequently have low potassium levels due to vomiting. A level of 3.4Meq/l is not unexpected and should be corrected with the ordered fluids. The lab value does not need to be redrawn as the findings are consistent with the infant's condition.

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