Respiratory Acidosis is a decrease in the pH of the blood due to elevating carbon dioxide levels in the arteries.

It is considered a “decreased ventilation process” which is different from Respiratory Alkalosis which is a hyperventilation process.

There is Carbon Dioxide that is produced at a continual rate within the body.

It is produced as a waste and as it builds up it is required to be released through the lungs.

If proper breathing is not seen, the buildup can become worrisome.

As a result – Hypercapnia – can occur.

This is an increased in PaCo2 and it can decrease the pH of the blood.

Acidosis is when the pH of the blood drops below 7.35

There are acute and chronic causes of Respiratory Acidosis.

Acute:

–   Failure of ventilation occurs
–   Cerebral disease or trauma
–   Drugs
–   Myasthenia Gravis
–   Guillain-Barre syndrome
–   Muscular Dystrophy
–   Asthma
–   Air-way obstruction
–   Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

 

Chronic

–   Typically a secondary reaction to other health concerns
–   COPD
–   Obesity hypoventilation syndrome
–   Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
–   Interstitial fibrosis

 

Symptoms

–  Headache
–  Confusion
–  Shortness of breath
–  Coughing
–  Loss of consciousness
–  Diarrhea
–  Nausea
–  Vomiting
–  Seizures
–  Coma
– Others

 

Treatment

–   Oxygen
–   Treatment of underlining condition

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