TABLE 1

The patient’s laboratory values

SubstanceValueReference range
Blood chemistry
Sodium132 mmol/L136–144
Potassium4.8 mmol/L3.7–5.1
Bicarbonate16.0 mmol/L22–30a
Chloride95 mmol/L97–105
Blood urea nitrogen23 mg/dL7–21
Creatinine1.3 mg/dL0.58–0.96
Glucose97 mg/dL74–99
Lactate1.1 mmol/L0.5–2.2
Albumin4.5 g/dL3.9–4.9
Serum osmolality318 mOsm/kg275–295
Arterial blood gases
pH7.257.35–7.45
Embedded Image 28 mm Hg34–46b
Bicarbonate16 mmol/L22–26
  • a For acid-base problem-solving, a value of 25 mmol/L is considered normal.

  • b Healthier patients with better pulmonary function may attain lower Embedded Image values; for clinical problem-solving, a value of 40 mm Hg is considered normal.

  • Embedded Image = partial pressure of carbon dioxide