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Acidaemia and Salicylate Poisoning in Adults

Br Med J 1969; 2 doi: (Published 31 May 1969) Cite this as: Br Med J 1969;2:547
  1. A. T. Proudfoot,
  2. S. S. Brown


    A review of the arterial acid-base status on admission to hospital of 62 adults with severe salicylate poisoning showed that arterial pH was normal or high in most patients, but low in 8. The mean plasma salicylate concentrations of the acidaemic and nonacidaemic patients were similar and the difference in arterial pH was associated with a marked fall in standard bicarbonate in the former group. No significant difference of Pco2 between the two groups was found, and hence no simple relationship exists between hypocapnia and the development of acidaemia in salicylate poisoning. Acidaemia is shown to be associated with impaired consciousness and to carry a grave prognosis.