Physiological derangements such as hypoxemia and hyperkalemia are medical emergencies that warrant prompt interventions to prevent further patient clinical deterioration. However, in patients with myeloproliferative diseases or malignancies that result in extreme leukocytosis, hypoxemia and hyperkalemia demonstrated in laboratory results could be deceiving due to in vitro reactions and may not reflect actual patient condition. Clinicians have to be familiar with these phenomena so as to not cause harm by treating these spurious laboratory values.
Emergency Department, Bellevue Hospital Center, NYU School of Medicine, New York (Mr Malek); and Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing, New York (Dr Chen).
Correspondence: Leon Chen, DNP, AGACNP-BC, CCRN, CEN, FCCP, Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY 10065 (email@example.com).
Supported by MSK Cancer Center Support Grant/Core Grant (P30 CA008748).
The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.