Acid Base Mnemonics
Nursing Exam Made Easy

The following pictures below are the acid base mnemonics. Its purpose is to simplify memorization for the benefit of nursing reviewees.

Acidosis - Alkalosis

An excess in acidity in the blood and other body fluids is called acidosis while excess in alkalinity is called alkalosis. The normal pH of the blood is 7.4 and acidosis occurs when the pH falls below 7.35 and will be called severe acidosis when the reading falls below 7.0. Alkalosis occurs when the pH rise above 7.45 and will be called severe alkalosis when reaches above 7.5.

Acidosis and Alkalosis are both symptoms of various diseases and disorders.

Calcium - Phosphorus

The functions of phosphorus in the body are the following: building and repair bones and teeth, help nerves function, and for muscle contraction.
Almost 85% of the phosphorus contained in phosphate is found in bones. The rest of it is stored in tissues throughout the body.

Calcium functions in the body are: catalyst for nerve transmission and conduction, muscle contraction, promotes coagulation of blood.

Calcium and phosphate in the body react in opposite ways: As blood calcium levels rise, phosphate levels fall. Diseases or infection may disrupt this relationship that is why phosphate and calcium levels are usually measured at the same time.

Causes of Imbalances I

Causes of Imbalances II

Heat Exhaustion

This acid base mnemonics is a milder form of heat-related illness called Heat Exhaustion. Prone to these conditions are elderly people, people with high blood pressure and people exercising in high temperatures and unbalanced replacement of fluids.

Heat Stroke


Heat stroke is the most severe form of heat illness and can cause death if not treated properly and promptly. In this state, the body overheats and can’t cool down. Dehydration and humid environment causes the body to retain excessive heat.


Hyperkalemia means an abnormal high level of potassium in the blood. This condition is a medical emergency since it can cause cardiac arrest. Some management are: insulin (to increase cellular reuptake); a gluconate (antagonize cardiac effect); Na bicarbonate (reverse acidosis); kayexalate (K exchange resin); dialysis; and diuretics.

Potassium Deficit

Potassium deficit is also known as Hypokalemia. Clients are advised to eat potassium rich foods like banana, raisins, dry fruits, nuts, celery and potato skin.

Never give potassium preparation in IV push because it can cause death. Remember, it is the “killer drug” in lethal injection.

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