The serum concentration of which of the following would most likely be increased in a patient who receives a massive transfusion of red blood cells?

Massive transfusion results in several important patho- physiologic changes related to the blood itself, the preservation and anticoagulation agents used, or to the effects of rapid infusion of fluid.

The most common complications of massive transfusion include:

Release of potassium from lysis of red blood cells during storage may produce potassium levels exceeding 20 mEq/L in blood that has been stored for 21 days. Although the potassium levels are high, the amount of serum administered when transfusing a unit of packed red blood cells is small. As a result, blood must be administered to most healthy adult patients at a rate in excess of 100 mL/min to produce clinically significant hyperkalemia.

Anesthesiology Continuing Education...

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