Hyperkalemia – Causes Nursing Mnemonic (MACHINE)

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Included In This Lesson



  • M-Medications – ACE Inhibitors, NSAIDS, potassium-sparing diuretics
  • A-Acidosis – Metabolic and respiratory
  • C-Cellular destruction – burns, traumatic injury, hemolysis
  • H-Hypoaldosteronism – Addison’s
  • I-Intake- excessive
  • N-Nephrons- renal failure
  • E-Excretion – Impaired


Hyperkalemia is elevated potassium in the blood. Typical levels of potassium in the blood are 3.5 to 5.0 mEq/L. In acidosis and cellular destruction, potassium shifts from inside the cell to the blood stream. Medications and kidney damage can decrease urinary excretion of potassium. Excessive intake of potassium can also lead to hyperkalemia. Potassium is necessary for the transmission of electrical impulses in heart and skeletal muscle; therefore increased potassium can cause ECG changes.

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