A Tip for More Rapid Potassium Infusions
Potassium infusions for hypokalemia are rate-limited to 10 mEq/hr for peripheral IVs because of pain, extravasation, and phlebitis.
Central lines, however, can infuse faster at rates of 20 mEq/hr and require cardiac monitoring.
What if a critically ill patient needs more rapid repletion than 10 mEq/hr but does not have a central line? A trick of the trade involves placing two peripheral IVs each infusing 10 mEq/hr. These patients should be on a cardiac monitor.
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Dr. Linis the founder, CEO, and editor-in-chief of Academic Life in Emergency Medicine (https://www.ALiEM.com) and a professor of emergency medicine at the University of California San Francisco with interests in health professions education and digital scholarship. Follow her on Instagram@MichelleLinMDand on Twitter@M_Lin.Copyright © 2022 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.