A newly admitted patient has sustained deep partial-thickness burns to his face and trunk. Which of the following abnormal values can the nurse expect during the emergent phase?

Decreased hemoglobin levels
Increased heart rate
Increased hematocrit levels
Increased potassium level

Explanation

• Due to the fluid shift after a burn injury, the blood becomes concentrated and the hematocrit will be elevated

• Heart rate will increase (not decrease) due to hypovolemia associated with fluid shift (third spacing)

• Potassium levels will increase along with cellular destruction

• Hemoglobin levels will be decreased due to the hemolysis of red blood cells

• Lactic acid level will increase due to impaired tissue perfusion, not decrease

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