HYPERCAPNIC RESPIRATORY FAILURE

Respiratory failure due to icreased carbon dioxide in the blood stream and decreased oxygen levels. Results in compromised gas exchange and tissue perfusion.

Normal reference values:
Oxygen PaO2 > 60 mmHg. In kPa, PaO2 values should be above 8.
Carbon dioxide PaCO2 < 45 mmHg. In kPa, PaCO2 should be less than 6.6kPa.

Hypercapnic respiratory failure: PaCO2 > 50 mmHg (i.e. 6.5kPa). This indicates inadequate alveolar ventilation

CAUSES:

Severe asthma
Obesity
Polyneuropathy
Head and neck injuries
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Drug overdose, poisoning
Myxoedema
Adult respiratory distress syndrome
Pulmonary oedema
Poliomyelitis
Myasthenia gravis
Reduced breathing effort

ACUTE versus CHRONIC HYERCAPNIC RESPIRATORY FAILURE:

Chronic respiratory failure

may take several days to develop

results in increased bicarbonate concentration, and pH is slightly decreased.

Acute respiratory failure

develops over minutes to hours.

pH < 7.3.

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