In Episode 3, we discussed sodium chloride’s role in the treatment of hypochloremia. Did you know hypochloremia is often accompanied by hypokalemia? Serum potassium decreases as potassium ions enter the cell to replace the lost hydrogen ions. If a patient develops metabolic alkalosis while in a volume-overloaded state (e.g. Cirrhosis, CHF), replenishing chloride with potassium chloride instead of sodium chloride should be considered.
We will be discussing potassium more in depth during this multi-part series, so stay tuned.
Soifer, J. T., & Kim, H. T. (2014). Approach to metabolic alkalosis. Emergency medicine clinics of North America, 32(2), 453-463.