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[IP] Re: Hyperkalemia and insulin

Anne wrote:

I am an RN and have to say i have never seen
hyperkalemia treated with insulin, nor have i seen it
given to psych patients in lieu of psychotropic meds. 

                  * * * ** *
I am an RN also and work in ICU.  We use insulin quite
a bit to treat hyperkalemia (high amount of potassium
in the blood stream - can cause heart arrhythmias and
is extremely dangerous).  We give the insulin together
with an IV of glucose and water.  I think that what
happens is that the sodium inside the cells changes
places with the potassium in the blood stream, but I
may be wrong about that.  If anyone is really that
interested in this I can ask a doc in the ICU and let
you know if you e-mail me privately.  Anyway it works
if the blood potassium isn't too high - if it is then
sometimes temporary dialysis is needed to remove it.

Pat (pumped!!!)

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