4+ hemolysis with normal k+ levels?

we had a 6 years old that the doctor ordered a cmp on, when spun the plasma was bright cherry red so i told the phleb we needed a new tube but dr said run the test he didnt care about the k+ levels. anyway when results came off the k+ was 4.2mmol/L. the mean of our normal range is 4.1, that seems so low since the hemolysis should have released a lot of k+, and if it did it seems like the levels the kid had before would be so low it would cause noticeable issues any thoughts?

1 Answer

  • 6 years ago
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    I am not a doctor, so I am guessing mostly based on basic physiology and in the absence of additional facts. An ASCP certified CLS degree person, who was not rushed to consider the issue might be able to give a better guess, but I think you are right, if their is a question about the sample another sample should be taken and given special care as to all the parameters of the process.

    If the hemolysis occurred in the body, then, the rest of the cells of the body can act as a buffer and absorb the potassium to maintain a more normal level.

    As mentioned in one of the Merck Manual links below, white blood cells in leukemia conditions can, if the blood sample is allowed to set, soak up the excess potassium.

    The other question I would have is whether or not the hemolysis occurred in the child or was the result of improper withdrawal of the blood.



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