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From The CriticsReviewer: David J. Dries, MD (University of Minnesota Medical School)
Description: This set of pocket cards is designed to guide management of acid-base and electrolyte disorders.
Purpose: Common acid-base relationships and a diagnostic strategy are provided. Both reference data and differential diagnosis are included.
Audience: Trainees and practitioners in critical care and emergency medicine will benefit from this pocket tool.
Features: This set consists of two 3x8 inch plastic cards filled with information, including a table summarizing normal values for arterial and venous blood gas testing and the differential presentation of simple acid-base disorders. An algorithm for identifying a patient with acid-base abnormality includes a classic diagram emphasizing the distinction between acute and chronic conditions. A second card provides a specific approach to evaluation of metabolic and respiratory acidosis or alkalosis, with an emphasis on differential diagnosis of the anion gap. The fourth side of this two-card set includes general comments on fluid and electrolyte management. Data includes body water distribution and electrolyte content in the intracellular and extracellular space. Protocols for repletion of electrolyte deficiencies are provided along with a series of formulas for calculating appropriate intravenous fluid rates. Finally, normals for daily input and output are presented. Tables and flow diagrams are used to present information. There are no references.
Assessment: Acid-base disorders are one of the important problems faced by emergency and critical care practitioners. This pocket guide includes both key data and diagnostic tools. I will add it to the pocket of my laboratory coat.