Posted: October 9th, 2017

Surgery in the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU)

Mrs. Johansson, who had undergone surgery in the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU), found it difficult to arouse two hours following surgery.

Nurse Florence in the PACU has been administering Morphine Sulfate intravenously to the client for complaints of post-surgical pain.

The client’s respiratory rate is 7 per minute, and he demonstrates shallow breathing. The patient does not respond to any stimuli!

The nurse assesses the ABCs (remember Airway, Breathing, Circulation!) and obtains ABGs STAT!

Arterial blood gas measurement shows pH 7.10, PaCO2 70 mm Hg, and HCO3 24 mEq/L. What does this mean?

A. Respiratory Alkalosis, Partially Compensated
B. Respiratory Acidosis, Uncompensated
C. Metabolic Alkalosis, Partially Compensated
D. Metabolic Acidosis, Uncompensated

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