Bicarbonate Therapy In Dka: What You Need To Know

PPT Bicarbonate Therapy in Severe Metabolic Acidosis PowerPoint


Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a serious complication of diabetes that can lead to coma or even death if left untreated. In recent years, bicarbonate therapy has emerged as a potential treatment option for patients with DKA. In this article, we will explore what bicarbonate therapy is, how it works, and its potential benefits and risks.

What is Bicarbonate Therapy?

Bicarbonate therapy involves the administration of sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) to patients with DKA. The goal of this therapy is to correct the metabolic acidosis that occurs in DKA by increasing the pH of the blood.

How Does Bicarbonate Therapy Work?

When NaHCO3 is administered, it reacts with the excess hydrogen ions (H+) in the blood, forming water (H2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2). This reaction helps to neutralize the acidosis and increase the pH of the blood.

Potential Benefits of Bicarbonate Therapy

Bicarbonate therapy can help to quickly correct the metabolic acidosis that occurs in DKA, which can improve the patient’s symptoms and prevent the development of complications such as cerebral edema. It can also help to improve the effectiveness of insulin therapy.

Potential Risks of Bicarbonate Therapy

While bicarbonate therapy can be effective in treating DKA, it is not without risks. Rapid correction of the acidosis can lead to an over-correction of the pH, which can cause a condition called alkalosis. Alkalosis can cause symptoms such as confusion, muscle weakness, and seizures. In addition, bicarbonate therapy can cause a shift in potassium levels, which can be dangerous for patients with underlying kidney disease or heart failure.


Bicarbonate therapy has emerged as a potential treatment option for patients with DKA. While it can be effective in correcting the metabolic acidosis, it is not without risks. As with any medical treatment, bicarbonate therapy should be carefully considered and administered under the guidance of a healthcare professional.


1. Umpierrez, G. E., & Korytkowski, M. T. (2016). Diabetic emergencies—ketoacidosis, hyperglycaemic hyperosmolar state and hypoglycaemia. Nature Reviews Endocrinology, 12(4), 222-232.

2. Kitabchi, A. E., Umpierrez, G. E., Murphy, M. B., & Kreisberg, R. A. (2006). Hyperglycemic crises in adult patients with diabetes. Diabetes care, 29(12), 2739-2748.