Disorders of Potassium Balance

Authors: Andrew Parfitt, Emma Townsend / Editors: Steve Fordham / Reviewer: Chris Gray, William Gibbs / Codes: O7 / Published: 24/07/2023

This session looks at disorders of potassium metabolism, and in particular the presentation of hypokalaemia and hyperkalaemia in the emergency department (ED). It also covers the investigation and management of these conditions.

By the end of this session you will be able to:

  • Identify spurious hyperkalaemia
  • Evaluate serum potassium levels in the context of total body potassium
  • Establish whether hypokalaemia or hyperkalaemia is present
  • Outline the initial treatment of hypokalaemia and hyperkalaemia
  • Recognise the ECG abnormalities that may be associated with these conditions


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