[Skip to Content]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
[Skip to Content Landing]
January 15, 1982

Intravenous Potassium Chloride Therapy-Reply

Author Affiliations

Yale University School of Medicine New Haven, Conn

JAMA. 1982;247(3):304-305. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320280026016

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


In Reply.—  With respect to Dr Fribourg's questions to us, we did mean to say that we would infuse as much as 80 to 100 mEq/L of potassium per hour to suppress the ventricular irritability in a patient with profound hypokalemia (less than 2 mEq/L). If this is done by two peripheral infusions containing 40 to 50 mEq of potassium per liter, we agree that this represents a large volume load. However, most patients with such profound hypokalemia also have substantial volume contraction from either vomiting or excessive diuretics. In addition, if the fluid is given as D5W, it will be distributed over totalbody water (ie, over 42 L in a 70-kg person), which will leave less than 10% of each liter in the intravascular space. We would like to state that such a clinical situation, ie, one where hypokalemia is so profound as to cause ventricular irritability,