What should be the nurse's first intervention? A client with COPD feels short of breath after walking to the bathroom on 2 liters of oxygen nasal cannula. The mornings ABGs were pH of 7.36, PaCO2 of 62, HCO3 of 35 mEq/L, O2 at 88% on 2 liters.
Encourage the client to rest and to use pursed-lip breathing technique
Clients with COPD, especially those who are in a chronic compensated respiratory acidosis, are very sensitive to changes in O2 flow, because hypoxemia rather than high CO2 levels stimulates respirations. Deep breaths are not helpful, because clients with COPD have difficulty with air trapping in alveoli. There is no need to call the physician, since this client is presently most likely at baseline.