DKA LAB VALUES (DIABETIC KETOACIDOSIS)
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DKA LAB VALUES
Are you struggling with learning lab values in nursing school?
In this video, I’m going to walk you through the 7 main lab values you need to assess for in a patient with diabetic ketoacidosis (or DKA for short).
During your nursing assessment, here are 7 lab values you’ll need to assess in a patient with DKA:
**Snag your FREE lab values cheat sheet right here: https://nursingsos.lpages.co/a855410s780h530088277b70jl0/
- Blood glucose level. During diabetic ketoacidosis, the body cells can’t use glucose for energy. This causes a build up of glucose in the blood, which leads to hyperglycemia (increased blood glucose).
- Urine Ketones: During DKA, the body cells are using fat for energy instead of glucose. And when fat is broken down, ketones are released. These ketones will show up in the urine in a patient with diabetic ketoacidosis because there will be ketones circulating in the body.
- Urine Glucose: Similar to the hyperglycemia and blood glucose level we listed above, because there is so much glucose in the blood (the body cells can’t use it for energy), the kidneys will try to come to the rescue and attempt to get rid of it through the urine.
Potassium (this is a KEY POINT!): Potassium usually hangs out inside of cells. But during hyperglycemia, it moves outside of the cells. This causes the potassium lab value to increase during diabetic ketoacidosis. When your patient is treated for DKA (especially with insulin), the potassium level will decrease. You MUST be aware of this in nursing school when you’re treating a patient with DKA. Always assess their potassium lab value throughout treatment to make sure their potassium level stays within normal range.
Arterial Blood Gas Analysis (ABGs – pH, the HCO3, and the PaCO2 lab values): As we said before, when the body can’t use glucose for energy, it uses fat instead. And when fat is broken down, ketones are produced. Ketones are acids, and the more acids there are in the blood, the lower the pH value will be, and the more the ABG values will be off.
If you want a refresher on ABG values and how to become a ROCK STAR at interpreting arterial blood gas lab values, check out this video here: https://nursingschoolofsuccess.com/episode1/
If you want a deep dive into the pathophysiology of diabetic ketoacidosis, check out this video here: https://nursingschoolofsuccess.com/episode18/
J O I N T H E C O M M U N I T Y
F R E E L A B V A L U E S C H E A T S H E E T:
R E L A T E D V I D E O S
Pathophysiology of Diabetic Ketoacidosis: https://nursingschoolofsuccess.com/episode18/
Arterial Blood Gas Interpretation: ABGs made easy! https://nursingschoolofsuccess.com/episode1/
Arterial Blood Gas Values (2018): https://nursingschoolofsuccess.com/episode6/
S U B S C R I B E
F O L L O W
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These videos are intended for entertainment purposes only. Although we strive for 100% accuracy in all of our videos, errors may occur. Never treat a patient or make a nursing or medical decision based on the information provided on this channel or in our videos. Never practice nursing or medicine unless you have a proper license to do so.
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