Magnesium (Mg++), Potassium (K+) and Calcium (CA++) are important electrolytes in keeping a stable electrical status. The purpose of this study was to measure them in critically ill patients.
Methods: We evaluated the electrolytes in 28 consecutive patients. Eighteen were females and 10 males with mean age of 62 +/- 5 years.
Results: The admission diagnosis in 95% of the cases was congestive heart failure. Sixty-four percent of the patients had subnormal values of Mg++, 53% subnormal values of K+, and 28% subnormal values of CA++. Fourteen percent showed lower values of the three electrolytes and 35% only of Mg++ and K+ concomitantly. Twenty-eight percent showed prolonged QTC interval. All patients with prolonged QTC interval had low Mg++ and K+ levels. Twenty five percent of the patients showed atrial fibrillation, 25% ventricular tachycardia, and 3% junctional tachycardia. The ventricular tachycardia group had more electrolyte abnormalities than those with atrial fibrillation. None of the patients received Mg++ replacement during critical management while 50% received K+ replacement.
Conclusion: This data shows physician overlook the Importance of Mg++ and K+ deficiency in critically ill patients.