George Kent is a 54-year-old widower with a history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and was rushed to the emergency department with increasing shortness of breath, pyrexia, and a productive cough with yellow-green sputum. He has difficulty communicating because of his inability to complete a sentence. One of his sons, Jacob, says he has been unwell for three days. Upon examination, crackles and wheezes can be heard in the lower lobes; he has tachycardia and a bounding pulse. Measurement of arterial blood gas shows pH 7.3, PaCO2 68 mm Hg, HCO3 28 mmol/L, and PaO2 60 mm Hg. How would you interpret this?
A. Respiratory Acidosis, Uncompensated
B. Respiratory Acidosis, Partially Compensated
C. Metabolic Alkalosis, Uncompensated
D. Metabolic Acidosis, Partially Compensated
Correct Answer: B. Respiratory Acidosis, Partially Compensated
The patient has respiratory acidosis (raised carbon dioxide) resulting from an acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, with partial compensation.