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October 28, 1968

Clinical Disorders of Acid-Base Equilibrium

JAMA. 1968;206(5):1087. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03150050074024

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To the Editor:—  Most clinical abnormalities of acid-base balance, other than those sustained abnormalities brought about by chronic lung or kidney disease, are short lived if adequately treated. At no point have we suggested that therapy is not indicated or required in most acid-base abnormalities.We agree with Dr. Tashima that the second sentence should have included a decrease as well as an increase in hydrogen ions, and a gain as well as an extracorporeal loss of base. However, in our subsequent description of the disturbances of acid-base equilibrium, the mechanisms responsible for these derangements are clearly enumerated.We did not suggest that the CO2 content should be measured in a blood sample other than the one in which the pH and Pco2 are measured. We simply stated that while it is customary to measure CO2 content in venous blood, it is not at all satisfactory to