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Acid-Base Disturbances in the Salicylate-Intoxicated Adult

Patricia A. Gabow, MD; Robert J. Anderson, MD; Daniel E. Potts, MD; Robert W. Schrier, MD
Arch Intern Med. 1978;138(10):1481-1484. doi:10.1001/archinte.1978.03630350019008.
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This study examined the acid-base disturbances in 67 adults with salicylate intoxication. On admission, 66 patients had an acid-base disturbance. In contrast to previous suggestions, however, only 25% of the patients had simple respiratory alkalosis. Unlike salicylate intoxication in children, 33% of these adults with salicylate intoxication had ingested additional drugs. These additional drugs generally were CNS depressants and were important determinants of the variety of the acid-base disturbance. Those patients who ingested additional drugs had a significantly lower incidence of respiratory alkalosis (P <.005) and a higher incidence of respiratory acidosis (P <.005) and acidemia (P <.025). The incidence of acidemia correlated with the presence of neurological symptoms.

(Arch Intern Med 138:1481-1484, 1978)


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