All About Nursing · Hospice & Palliative Care · Nursing Continue Education


Hyperkalemia – Elevated serum potassium level

  • Potassium levels of more than 5 mEq/L in the blood are diagnostic of hyperkalemia
  • Causes of hyperkalemia are often iatrogenic, as by inappropriate use of drugs or their management, leading to increased potassium levels.
  • Hyperkalemia is a common complication of end-stage renal failure as a result of diminished ability of the failing kidney to excrete potassium.
  • Life-threatening hyperkalemia is often asymptomatic until sudden cardiac arrest occurs
    • These levels can alter membrane potential and are associated with the development of cardiac arrest, abdominal cramping, and flaccid paralysis because of their effects on sodium channels.

Leave a Reply