Ico

excretion of 1 1 - - 3 and excretion of acids such as ammonium.

Because the kidneys excrete less than 1% of the estimated 13,000 mEq of H+ions generated in an average day, renal failure can be present for prolonged periods before life-threatening imbalances occur. Conversely, cessation of breathing for minutes results in profound acid—base disturbances.1

The best way to assess a patient's acid—base status is to review the results of an arterial blood gas (ABG) specimen. Blood gas analyzers directly measure the pH and

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