A client with type 1 diabetes is in the ER after being found unconscious. Upon assessment, the client's breath was noted to be fruity.  Which of the following ABG results would the nurse expect?


•This patient is in Diabetic ketoacidosis. This is supported by his history of type 1 diabetes, the fact he was found unconscious, and his fruity breath.

•You would expect a low pH due to acidosis, a normal PCO2 (if uncompensated) or low PCO2 (if compensated), and a low HCO3 since this is metabolic in origin.

Respiratory Acidosis:
•Respiratory system is the cause
•Increase in PCO2, decrease in pH
•Compensation- kidneys reabsorb Bicarb (HCO3)

Metabolic Acidosis:
•Caused by loss of bicarb or a build up of acids- lactic acidosis, diarrhea, renal failure, ketones, or ammonium intoxication. Not caused by respiration.
•HCO3 decreases, pH decreases
•Compensation- hyperventilation to eliminate CO2

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