World J Surg. 2014 Apr;38(4):790-4
Authors: Lu G, Xu L, Zhong Y, Shi P, Shen X
OBJECTIVE: Our objective was to evaluate the significance of pre-hospital and post-operative serum potassium level monitoring and hypokalemia intervention in laparotomy patients with hypokalemia.
METHOD: A total of 118 laparotomy patients with hypokalemia were randomly divided into an intervention group (N = 60) and a control group (N = 58). Blood samples were collected for measurement of potassium levels at various time points (pre-admission, admission, 24 h and 48 h post-operation) for both groups. Hypokalemia interventions were administered to patients in the intervention group in the pre-admission period and the post-operative period. Visceral dynamics were assessed after laparotomy in both groups.
RESULT: Average serum potassium levels at admission, time period of drinking, and time of first bowel sound after laparotomy differed significantly (p < 0.001) between the two groups. Average serum potassium levels, first time of defecation, urination, and ambulation at 24 h and 48 h post-operation differed significantly (p < 0.05) between the two groups.
CONCLUSION: An optimal pathway of serum potassium monitoring not only saves limited ward space but also allows for early correction of hypokalemia in patients undergoing laparotomy.
PMID: 24202399 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]