The Daily PANCE and PANRE Question 7

A 14-year-old is experiencing a severe asthma attack. Although he is using accessory muscles to breath, auscultation of his chest reveals no audible wheezing. His heart rate is 160 and his respiratory rate is 52. Which of the following arterial blood gases represents the worst prognosis?

  1. pH = 7.52; pC02 = 28; p02 = 80
  2. pH = 7.44; pC02 = 38; p02 = 70
  3. pH = 7.60; pC02 = 18; p02 = 60
  4. pH= 7.40; pC02 = 40; p02 = 60
  5. pH = 7.27; pC02 - 62; p02 = 64

Answer: E

pH = 7.27; pC02 - 62; p02 = 64

This patient has a respiratory rate of 52. If she is ventilating, she is blowing off C02 (an acid) and would be alkalotic and should have a low C02. A pH which is acidic with a pC02 which is elevated means that she is no longer ventilating at all (she needs mechanical ventilation or she will die).

Know Your Content Blueprint

Acid/Base disorders are part of the NCCPA Content Blueprint Genitourinary System (6%)

Review Topic: Acid/Base Disorders

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