A client has arterial blood gases drawn. The results are as follows: pH, 7.58; Pa CO2, 48 mm Hg; HCO3, 44 mEq/L, Base Excess, +13 mEq/L. Which condition is indicated?

  1. respiratory alkalosis
  2. respiratory acidosis
  3. metabolic alkalosis
  4. metabolic acidosis
Number 3 is correct.
Rationale: Metabolic (nonrespiratory) alkalosis is consistent with the stated values. The stated pH of 7.58 is alkalotic. The value of PaCO2 , 48 mm Hg is within normal range indicating a nonrespiratory (metabolic) origin. The value of HCO3 of 44 mEq/L is indicative of metabolic alkalosis. A Base Excess of +13 mEq/L is consistent with severe metabolic alkalosis.