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Respiratory Acidosis

Respiratory acidosis is a medical emergency in which decreased ventilation (hypoventilation) increases the concentration of carbon dioxide in the blood and decreases the blood's pH (a condition generally called acidosis).

Carbon dioxide is produced continuously as the body's cells respire, and this CO2 will accumulate rapidly if the lungs do not adequately expel it through alveolar ventilation. Alveolar hypoventilation thus leads to an increased PaCO2 (a condition called hypercapnia). The increase in PaCO2 in turn decreases the HCO3/PaCO2 ratio and decreases pH.

 

 

 

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