Electrolyte series: Potassium

After a brief review of intracellular and extracellular fluid compartments, this article discusses the history and physiology of potassium, and the causes, signs and symptoms, and treatments of hyperkalemia and hypokalemia. Both medical treatments and nursing considerations are included. This article, the first in our Electrolyte Series, also reviews the latest evidence-based practice and recent research on potassium.

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Rapid response teams: Current perspectives

Rapid response teams (RRTs) have been in existence for nearly 25 years. The team's purpose is to assess and manage patients who experience acute clinical deterioration. The critical care nurse performs a vital role in the function of the team. This article reviews the composition, responsibilities, and common challenges of RRTs.

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Blood at the bedside: Supporting nurses during massive transfusion

Massive transfusion (MT) is an infrequent, high-risk event requiring interprofessional teamwork and communication to achieve optimal patient outcomes. MT protocols guide team members and standardize blood delivery. This article provides an overview of MTs to help nurses recognize and initiate them within the defined protocol to speed up the delivery of blood products to the patient.

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Animal-assisted therapy and activities in the critical care setting

Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) and animal-assisted activities (AAA) are different dimensions in the field of human-animal interaction that incorporate various species of animals in diverse manners to benefit humans. Research shows physiologic and psychological benefits of AAT/AAA but is limited in the area of critical care. Current guidelines discourage the use of AAT/AAA in CCUs because of infection control concerns. However, these concerns can be addressed with the right policies.

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