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Both respiratory and renal systems are involved in the regulation and maintenance of acid-base balance in blood. In this activity, you will be using respiratory rate, arterial pH, pCO2, and concentration of HCO3 (bicarbonate ion) to diagnose patients with disorders of respiratory alkalosis or acidosis, or metabolic alkalosis or acidosis.


  1. Measure respiratory rates, arterial pH, pCO2, and concentration of HCO3 in four patients with acid-base imbalances.
  2. Observe how respiratory rate, arterial pH, pCO2,and concentration of HCO3 are used in the diagnosis of conditions of acid-base imbalance.
  3. Discuss how the respiratory system or renal system (metabolic) will compensate in an attempt to bring the patient back into acid-base balance.
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