What Is Acute Respiratory Acidosis?

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Respiratory Acidosis Learning Center

Respiratory acidosis, also called respiratory failure or ventilatory failure, causes the pH of blood and other bodily fluids to decrease, making them too acidic. Respiratory acidosis occurs when the lungs can’t remove enough carbon dioxide (CO2). Excess CO2 makes the blood more acidic. This is because the body must balance the ions that control pH. Normally, the lungs take in oxygen and exhale CO2. Oxygen passes from the lungs into the blood. CO2 passes from the blood into the lungs. However, sometimes the lungs cannot remove enough CO2. This may cause respiratory acidosis. There are two forms of respiratory acidosis: acute and chronic. Acute respiratory acidosis occurs quickly. It is a medical emergency. Left untreated, symptoms will get progressively worse. It can become life-threatening. Chronic respiratory acidosis develops over time. It does not cause symptoms. Instead, the body adapts to the increased acidity. For example, the kidneys produce more bicarbonate to help maintain balance. Chronic respiratory acidosis may not cause symptoms. However, it is important to see a doctor, as the underlying cause could be serious. Initial signs of acute respiratory acidosis include: he Continue reading >>

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