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What Causes Kussmaul Respirations In Dka?

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Ketoacidosis In Cats – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Ketoacidosis in cats at a glance Ketoacidosis is a serious complication of diabetes in which ketones and blood sugar levels build up in the body due to insufficient levels of insulin which is required to move glucose into the cells for energy. As a result, the body uses fat as an alternate energy source which produces ketones causing the blood to become too acidic. Common causes include uncontrolled diabetes, missed or insufficient insulin, surgery, infection, stress and obesity. Symptoms of ketoacidosis include increased urination and thirst, dehydration, nausea, diarrhea, confusion, rapid breathing which may later change to laboured breathing. What is diabetic ketoacidosis? Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a life-threatening complication of diabetes characterised by metabolic acidosis (increased acids in the blood), hyperglycemia (high blood glucose) and ketonuria (ketones in the urine). It is caused by a lack of or insufficient amounts of insulin which is required to move glucose from the bloodstream and into the cells to be used for energy. When this occurs, the body begins to search for alternate sources of energy and begins to break down fat. When fat is broken down (metabolise Continue reading >>

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  1. SVL

    So I understand this to be deep rapid respirations, as part of the signs of DKA. It's a result of the acidosis, and a need for air... so the body rapidly tries to expel CO2.
    Right?
    So... how on earth do you treat the respirations? I do understand you would need to treat the acidosis, but the question on my study guide says to know how to treat Kussmaul's Respirations.
    A class mate told me with a brown paper bag? That doesn't seem complicated enough to me, and I can't find anything in my book about it.

  2. Guest

    You have to treat the acidosis first and if that doesn't correct it--Intubation. I don't know Sarah usually when they get to that point they are on their way out.

  3. BlueRidge

    Your classmate is confusing Kussmaul's with hyperventalation, which is caused by breathing too deeply and/or quickly. Hyperventalating leads to the UNINTEDED loss of of too MUCH CO2, leading to dizziness and tingling of extremities. That treatment IS the brown paper bag or breathing into cupped hands to rebreath in more CO2. This occurs with overexcitment or during labor with controlled breathing patterns (like Lamaze).
    As you said, Kussmaul's is an attempt to reverse metabolic acidosis by blowing off Bicarb as a compensatory effort. These are spontaneous and under autonamic control, so you can NOT "treat the respirations" any more than you can help a patient "control" full blown labor contractions or autonamic dysreflexia in a pt with spinal cord injury.
    So, as TNN said, the treatment is to control the underlying metabolic issue with meds, fluids, mechanical oxygenation if needed. Th pH has to brought up to a level compatable with human life.

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