Primary Nursing Diagnosis

Altered nutrition: Less than body requirements related to decreased potassium intake, anorexia, nausea, vomiting

OUTCOMES. Nutritional status: Nutrient intake; Electrolyte and acid-base balance; Cardiac pump effectiveness; Knowledge: Medication and treatment procedures

INTERVENTIONS. Electrolyte management: Hypokalemia; Nutrition management; Nutrition monitoring; Vital signs monitoring; Medication management; Venous access devices maintenance; Teaching: Individual


To prevent hypokalemia, most physicians closely monitor serum potassium levels and prescribe supplements to those patients who are in the high-risk categories. Most patients who develop hypokalemia are placed on either oral or parenteral potassium supplements. Potassium is not

486 Hypokalemia administered intramuscularly or subcutaneously because potassium is a profound tissue irritant. Parenteral potassium should be administered with extreme caution. Potassium solutions irritate veins and can cause a chemical phlebitis.

Foods high in potassium can help restore potassium levels, as well as prevent further potassium loss. Collaboration between the nurse and a registered dietitian can ensure accurate teaching on dietary maintenance of potassium levels. Common foods high in potassium are bananas, cantaloupe, raisins, skim milk, avocados, mushrooms, potatoes, spinach, and tomatoes.



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