Potassium (K+)

What is the Lab Name for Potassium?


What is the Lab Abbreviation for Potassium?


What is Potassium in terms of Nursing Labs?

Potassium (K+) is the most abundant intracellular cation and plays a vital role in the transmission of electrical impulses in cardiac and skeletal muscle.  It plays a role in acid base equilibrium.  In states of acidosis hydrogen with enter the cell as this happens it will force potassium out of the cell, a 0.1 decrease in pH will cause a 0.5 increase in K+.

What is the Normal Range for Potassium?

3.5 – 5.0 mEq/L

What are the Indications for Potassium?

  • Evaluate:
    • Electrolyte imbalances
    • Cardiac arrhythmias
  • Monitor patients who are:
    • Acidotic
    • Receiving diuretic therapy


What would cause Increased Levels of Potassium?

  • Renal failure
  • Hypoaldosteronism
  • Addison disease
  • Injury to tissues
  • Diabetes Mellitus (DM)
  • Ketoacidosis
  • Hyperventilation
  • Acidosis
  • Infection
  • Dehydration
  • Burns

What would cause Decreased Levels of Potassium?

  • Hyperaldosteronism
  • Excess insulin
  • Alkalosis
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Cushing Syndrome

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