What is the etiology of Diabetic Ketoacidosis?

Ms. Blake is an older adult with diabetes and has been too ill to get out of bed for 2 days. She has had a severe cough and has been unable to eat or drink during this time. She has a history of Type I diabetes. On admission her laboratory values show:


Sodium (Na+)

156 mEq/L


Potassium (K+)

4.0 mEq/L


Chloride (Cl–)

115 mEq/L


Arterial blood gases   (ABGs)

pH- 7.30; Pco2-40;   Po2-70; HCO3-20



Normal values


Sodium (Na+)

136-146 mEq/L


Potassium (K+)

3.5-5.1 mEq/L


Chloride (Cl–)

98-106 mEq/L


Arterial blood gases   (ABGs)

pH- 7.35-7.45

Pco2- 35-45 mmHg

Po2-80-100 mmHg

HCO3–22-28 mEq/L

1. What is the etiology of Diabetic Ketoacidosis?

2. Describe the pathophysiological process of Diabetic Ketoacidosis

3. Identify the hallmark symptoms of Diabetic Ketoacidosis

4. Identify any abnormal lab results provided in the case and explain why these would be abnormal given the patient’s condition.

5. What teaching would you provide this patient to avoid heart failure symptoms?

In addition to the textbook (McCance, K. L., Huether, S. E., Brashers, V. L., & Rote, N. S. (2013). Pathophysiology: The biologic basis for disease in adults and children (7th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Mosby)utilize at least one peer-reviewed, evidence based resource to develop your post.

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