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15 Cards in this Set

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Bicarbonate-carbonic acid buffer system

CO2 + H2O → H2CO3 → H+ + HCO3-

(Describe what's happening in this reaction)

In red blood cells, the enzyme carbonic anhydrase catalyzes the conversion of dissolved carbon dioxide to carbonic acid, which rapidly dissociates to bicarbonate and a free proton

What does the bicarbonate-carbonic acid buffer system do?

  • neutralizes fixed acids

Bicarb equation

Ratio of bicarbonate to carbonic acid (or partial CO2)?


Define acidosis

blood pH < 7.35

Define alkalosis

blood pH > 7.45


Respiratory alkalosis or acidosis = pH and CO2 move in opposite direction

pH ↓ & CO2↑ = Acidosis

pH ↑ & CO2↓ = Alkalosis

Metabolic alkalosis or acidosis = pH and bicarb move in equal direction

pH ↓ & HCO3 ↓= Acidosis

pH ↑ & HCO3 ↑= Alkalosis

Causes of respiratory acidosis

  • high levels of CO2 in blood
  • lungs not able to expel CO2
  • abnormal accumulation of acids
  • or loss of base from body (asthma, COPD, severe obesity, drugs that suppress breathing)

Causes of respiratory alkadosis

  • low CO2 levels in blood
  • can be caused by fever, high altitude, hyperventilation, aspirin poisoning

Causes of metabolic acidosis

  • abnormal accumulation of acids
  • loss of base from body (dehydration, diarrhea)

Causes of metabolic alkadosis

  • abnormal accumulation of bicarbonate in blood
  • excess amounts of bicarbonate of soda ingested
  • renal absorption of bicarb increased because of prolonged vomiting (hypocloremia) or overuse of diuretics (hypokalemia)

Effect of increased respiration on blood pH?

Increased respiration = breathing out CO2 = decreases CO2 (acidic) = increases pH

Effect of decreased respiration on blood pH?

Decreased respiration = not breathing out as much CO2 = increased CO2 (acidic) = decreases pH

How do kidneys affect blood pH?

Decrease acid by excreting H+ (gets rid of acid)

Decrease acid by secreting bicarbonate into blood (increases base in blood)