Which of the following laboratory results is a priority for the nurse to report first? The nurse is evaluating the serum laboratory results on the following four clients.
A. A client with osteoporosis and a calcium level of 10.6 mg/dl B. A client with renal failure and a magnesium level of 2.5 mEq/L C. A client with bulimia and a potassium level of 3.6 mEq/L D. A client with dehydration and a sodium level of 149 mEq/L
Dehydration generally causes elevated sodium levels in the blood, called hypernatremia, which occurs because most causes of fluid loss from the body come from sweating, vomiting, diarrhea. It also results in more water loss than it does electrolyte loss, which increases the ratio of sodium to water in the blood.
In dehydration, the concentration of sodium and potassium helps to maintain a natural balance of these electrolytes. If your doctor suspects that your magnesium levels are too high, they may order a serum magnesium test. Either too high or too low magnesium can lead to health problems.
A client with dehydration and a sodium level of 149 mEq/L
Although a client with acute osteoporosis may have a high serum calcium, a level of 10.6 mg/dl is normal. Normal serum calcium is 9 to 11 mg/dl. Normal serum magnesium is 1.5 to 2.5 mEq/L. A client who has renal failure is prone to hypermagnesemia, but a level of 2.5 mEq/L is at the upper limit of normal. A client who has bulimia generally vomits enough to result in a low potassium level, but a potassium level of 3.6 mEq/L is low normal. Normal serum potassium is 3.5 to 5.5 mEq/L. Normal serum sodium is 135 to 145 mEq/L. The sodium level generally goes up with dehydration. A sodium level of 149 mEq/L is elevated.