[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
May 28, 1982

Potassium Chloride Therapy

Author Affiliations

Harvard Medical School Massachusetts General Hospital Boston

JAMA. 1982;247(20):2780-2781. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320450018018

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


To the Editor.—  In the QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS section (1981;246:2501) Drs Bia and DeFronzo recommended that the femoral vein be used when a high amount of potassium chloride must be infused in a minimal amount of fluid. Furthermore, they thought it unsafe to administer large potassium loads via a central line that empties directly into the right atrium.For the past 12 or more years, I and my intensive care unit (ICU) colleagues have routinely administered concentrated solutions of potassium chloride through a central venous catheter or central venous port of a pulmonary artery catheter to correct or maintain serum potassium levels within normal limits. From 80 to 120 mEq of potassium chloride in 250 mL of 5% dextrose in water or normal saline is passed through a catheter with a double-clamp technique and infused at a rate that delivers up to 20 mEq/hr. Usually 8 to 15 mEq/hr is