Liza’s mother is seen in the emergency department at a community hospital. She admits that her mother is taking many tablets of aspirin (salicylates) over the last 24-hour period because of a severe headache. Also, the mother complains of an inability to urinate. The nurse on duty took her vital signs and noted the following: Temp = 97.8 °F; apical pulse = 95; respiration = 32 and deep. Which primary acid-base imbalance is the client at risk for if medical attention is not provided?
A. Respiratory Acidosis
B. Respiratory Alkalosis
C. Metabolic Acidosis
D. Metabolic Alkalosis
Correct Answer. C. Metabolic Acidosis
Salicylate overdose causes a high anion gap metabolic acidosis in both children and adults. Adults commonly develop a mixed acid-base disorder as a respiratory alkalosis due to direct respiratory center stimulation occurs as well. This second disorder is uncommon in children.