Basic Pathophysiology

Under normal circumstances, the arterial pH is tightly regulated between 7.35 and 7.45. Acidemia is an abnormally low arterial blood pH (less than 7.35) while acidosis is a pathologic process that acidifies body fluids. Similarly, alkalemia is an abnormally high arterial blood pH (greater than 7.45) while alkalosis is a pathologic process that alkalinizes body fluids. As such, although a patient can simultaneously have acidosis and alkalosis, the end result will be acidemia or alkalemia.

Changes in the arterial pH are driven by changes in the PaC02 and/or the serum

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