Respiratory Acidosis

Respiratory acidosis:  an acid - base disturbance characterized by reduced alveolar ventilation and manifested by hypercapnia (an excess of carbon dioxide in the blood), respiratory acidosis can be acute ( from a sudden failure in ventilation ) or chronic ( as in long term pulmonary disease ). 
Respiratory acidosis can result from:  * Central nervous system (CNS) trauma,
 * Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary  Disease (COPD),
 * Drugs such as narcotics, anesthetics, hypnotics, and sedatives
 * Chronic metabolic alkalosis with respiratory compensatory mechanisms
 * Neuromuscular disease, such as myasthenia gravis, Guillain - Barre` syndrome, and poliomyelitis
 * Airway obstruction
 * Severe Adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)
 * Extensive pneumonia
 * Large pneumothorax
 * Pulmonary edema
Prognosis depends on the severity of the underlying disturbance as well as on the patient's general clinical condition.


CNS effects include:
Unnatural drowsiness (somnolence)
Motor disturbance (asterixis)

Cardiovascular effects include:
 * Possible tachycardia
 * hypertension
 * Possible atrial and ventricular dysrythmias 
 * In severe acidosis, possible hypotension with vasodilation (bounding pulse)


Effected treatment aims to correct the underlying source of alveolar hypoventilation.
Treatment for underlying conditions includes:  * Bronchodilators,
 * Oxygen
 * Antibiotics/Drug therapy
 * Dialysis - to remove toxic drugs, and correction of metabolic alkalosis

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