Respiratory alkalosis

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Classification according to ICD-10
E87.3 Alkalosis
Respiratory alkalosis
ICD-10 online (WHO version 2019)

The respiratory alkalosis is a disorder of acid-base balance , wherein the pH value of the blood as a result recessed respiration rises above 7.43 (alkalosis). Possible causes are (psychogenic) hyperventilation , air with a low oxygen content (high mountains) or compensated diffusion disorders of the lungs.


Overstimulation of the respiratory center means that the patient breathes in and out often and deeply, so that the partial pressures of the breathing gases in the alveoli approach those of the surrounding air. The CO 2 partial pressure in the alveoli decreases and thus also in the ( arterial ) blood. Due to the buffer equilibrium CO 2 + H 2 O ⇆ H 2 CO 3 ⇆ H + + HCO 3 - the withdrawn CO 2 allows the reaction to run to the left, so that H + (acid) is withdrawn from the blood .


In the case of (respiratory) alkalosis, muscle cramps , so-called hyperventilation tetanus, can occur. In severe cases, unconsciousness occurs because the vessels supplying the brain constrict .


In the case of psychologically induced hyperventilation, it often helps to calm the person affected and to encourage conscious (slower) breathing. If this does not work, the effect can be reduced by breathing back into a bag, pouch or other container. If necessary, the hands can also be used (relatively ineffectively). By rebreathing the exhaled, CO 2 -rich air, the patient can absorb the CO 2 again, the pH value stabilizes and the symptoms decrease. In severe cases, the patient must be sedated, e.g. B. with midazolam or diazepam .