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respiratory acidosis

Respiratory acidosis is a condition that occurs when the lungs cannot remove all of the carbon dioxide the body produces. This disrupts the body's acid-base balance and the body fluids become too acidic.


Symptoms may include:


  • confusion
  • fatigue
  • lethargy
  • shortness of breath
  • sleepiness

Causes may include:


  • diseases of the airways (such as asthma or chronic obstructive lung disease)
  • diseases of the chest that make the lungs function less efficiently
  • disease of the nerves and muscles that signal the lungs to inflate or deflate
  • drugs including narcotics, especially when combined with alcohol
  • obesity

Treatment may include:


  • bronchodilator drugs
  • quitting smoking
  • noninvasive positive-pressure ventilation or mechanical ventilation
  • oxygen therapy

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Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton Hamilton. Phone: 609-586-7900 Physician Referral: 609-584-5900.

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