A patient with a potassium level of 2.9 mEq/L is prescribed potassium chloride, 40 mEq I.V. The patient only has a peripheral I.V. The nurse should administer this medication:


•Potassium chloride should be administered at a rate of 10 mEq per hour when using a peripheral I.V. (20 mEq per hour with a central line) to reduce injection site irritation.

•Potassium administered at a rate exceeding 40 mEq per hour may result in lethal arrhythmias.

•Central venous access is not needed, but preferred.

•Lidocaine should only be given I.V. to treat lethal ventricular arrhythmias.

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