A patient is septic from an acute Clostridium difficile infection and produces a higher than normal amount of lactic acid. Which of the following is MOST likely to occur?


•Metabolic acidosis, from the formation of lactic acid, is common during sepsis.

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

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

Respiratory Alkalosis:
•Caused by excessive ventilation
•Decrease in PCO2, increase in pH
•Compensation - Kidneys excrete HCO3

Metabolic Alkalosis
•Acid (H+) loss from emesis, diuretics. Or retention of HCO3 from medications, hyperaldosteronism
•Increase in HCO3, Increase in pH
•Compensation - Respiratory centers are not stimulated, this leads to hypoventilation and CO2 retention

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