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04.01 Albumin

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Overview

  1. Albumin
    1. Normal Value Range
    2. Pathophysiology
    3. Special Considerations
    4. Too High: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments
    5. Too Low: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments

Nursing Points

General

  1. Normal value range
    1. 3.5 – 6.0 g/dL
  2. Pathophysiology
    1. Produced in the liver
    2. Main protein of plasma
    3. Responsible for maintaining oncotic pressure
      1. Draws fluid into blood vessel
      2. “Protein pulls”
      3. Refer to Fluid & Electrolytes lesson  01.02 Fluid Pressures
    4. Transport protein
    5. Serves as amino acid
    6. Nutrition
      1. Poor indicator of nutrition
        1. Due to long half-life
      2. Pre-Albumin
        1. Better indicator of nutrition
  3. Special considerations
    1. Green top typically
    2. Usually sent with several other labs
      1. Chemistries
      2. Liver function tests
      3. Nutritional labs
  4. Elevated Albumin levels
    1. Dehydration
    2. Excess infusion of albumin
  5. Decreased albumin levels
    1. Liver disease
    2. Fluid loss
      1. Fistula
      2. Hemorrhage
      3. Kidney Disease
      4. Burns
    3. Congestive heart failure
    4. Long term poor nutrition
      1. Inadequate intake
    5. Inflammation

Assessment

  1. Assess patient’s pre-albumin for nutritional status or indications of acute illness

Nursing Concepts

  1. Lab Values
  2. Nutrition

Reference Links

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  • Question 1 of 2

A nurse is checking laboratory results for a client with TPN and lipids and notes the following: Sodium: 138 mEq/L Potassium: 4.1 mEq/L Calcium: 10.1 mg/dL Albumin: 5.4 g/dL Triglycerides: 426 mg/dL Alkaline Phosphatase: 100 IU/L Based on these laboratory results, which of the following actions is most appropriate?

  • Question 2 of 2

A physician has ordered a metabolic panel for a patient and the nurse checks the following results: Sodium: 135 mEq/L Potassium: 3.0 mEq/L Calcium: 8.8 mg/dL Albumin: 4.0 g/dL Chloride: 100 mmol/L For which of the lab values above would the nurse need to notify the healthcare provider?

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