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Clinical Features of Respiratory Acidosis

In this article, we will discuss the Clinical Features of Respiratory Acidosis. So, let’s get started.

Clinical Features

The clinical features vary according to severity and duration of the respiratory acidosis, the underlying disease, and whether there is accompanying hypoxemia.

  • A rapid rise in PaCO2 (acute hypercapnia) may cause anxiety, dyspnea, confusion, psychosis and hallucinations and may progress to coma called acute hypercapnic encephalopathy.
  • Lesser and slowly rising PaCO2 (chronic hypercapnia) leads to sleep disturbances, loss of memory, daytime somnolence, personality changes, impairment of coordination and motor disturbances such as flapping tremors and myoclonic jerks. Headache and signs of raised intracranial pressure including papilledema may occur.
  • Cardiovascular effects of respiratory acidosis include increased cardiac output, normal or increased BP, warm skin, bounding pulse and diaphoresis.
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