Respiratory Alkalosis

Respiratory alkalosis occurs as a result of inappropriately increased ventilation and increased excretion of CO2. This may occur as a transient response to pain or hysteria. Such stimuli tend to be short lived and can be offset by analgesia, sedation, or short-term re-breathing of expired air. Additional causes include the early phases of aspirin poisoning (where the respiratory centers are activated), hypoxia, stroke, and other conditions affecting the brainstem respiratory control centers. Most causes of respiratory alkalosis are short term and, although adaptive responses would be expected to require excretion of bicarbonate to balance the Henderson-Hasselbalch equation, resolution usually occurs by resolution of the underlying condition.

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