The nurse is assessing a patient with hypoparathyroidism for electrolyte imbalances. The nurse notes a positive Chvostek's sign, indicating
• A positive Chvostek's sign occurs when the nurse taps the facial nerve at the angle of the jaw, resulting in the facial muscles contracting and twitching. This is caused by low serum calcium.
• Hypoparathyroidism is caused by trauma, removal, or autoimmune destruction of the parathyroid gland.
• Hypoparathyroidism results in hypocalcemia due to increased urinary excretion and decreased absorption in the bowel. Hyperphosphatemia is also a result.