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Cant get enough air to breath

Dear Ask The Doctor:

A 37 year old healthy female complains she can't get enough air to breathe for the past 30 min, dizzy, and racing heart-sometimes she sweats. This happened a few other times in recent history. VS are normal. Ht 5'7" wt 205 lbs. ABGs pH 7.32 pCO2 30 pO2 85. Can you help me figure out what is wrong with this woman and how to treat her? Can it be anxiety with these ABGs?


Anxiety, might be produce the decrease in Co2, however the Ph should be in the Alkaline side (> 7.45) and this patient is in Acidosis, so this possibility might be inlikely. This woman might probably have a mixed disorder; her Ph is Acidic possibly due to a metabolic cause that is being partially compensated by loosing Co2 through respiration. Her levels of HCO3 might need to be studied to confirm this possibility. Metabolic acidosis occurs when the body produces too much acid, or when the kidneys are not removing enough acid from the body. There are several types of metablic acidosis:Diabetic acidosis (also called diabetic ketoacidosis and DKA) develops when substances known as ketone bodies, which are acidic, build up during uncontrolled diabetes sicne she has a weight problem and feels dizzy and sweating , a probability of Diabetes Debut might be present, Lactic acidosis could also be considered Treatment is aimed at the underlying condition. In certain circumstances, sodium bicarbonate may be given to improve the acidity of the blood but this is usually given when levels of Ph are < 7.2.

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