Sunquest Code:K  
Epic Code:LAB114Epic Name:Potassium
Order Instructions:Order KW for whole blood specimens.
Synonyms:K; Electrolytes
Methodology:Indirect potentiometic
Turnaround Time:Performed and reported 24 hours/day.
Special Instructions:May collect with arterial or venous blood collected in a dry lithium heparin syringe for blood gas or ionized calcium analysis.

Collection Instructions

Optimal Volume:2.5 mL
Minimum\Peds Volume:0.6 mL
Container:Green (lithium heparin, gel) (Capillary (lithium heparin) gas tube, Green (lithium heparin) on ICE, Red (no gel), Red or gold (gel), Dry heparin syringe)
Collection Instructions:Samples from patients with extremely high WBC may have falsely high potassium because of in-vitro cytolysis (pseudohyperkalemia). If suspected, samples should be hand-carried to the laboratory and analyzed as whole blood or alternate assessment to minimize mechanial damage to cells.

Processing and Shipping

Specimen Processing:Centrifuge and aliquot 1.25 mL, 0.2 mL minimum. Store in refrigerator.
Shipping Instructions:Ship at refrigerated temperature.
Stability:Hemolyzed specimens are analyzed and reported to the patient's chart with a comment noting degree of hemolysis. Stability: Room or refrigerated temperature - 1 week; frozen - 1 year.
Test Performed at or Referral Lab Chemistry  (University of Minnesota Health Maple Grove Clinics, Fairview Range - FRMC, UMMC-East Bank, Oxboro Bloom, Fairview Lakes - FLMC, Fairview Ridges - FRH, Fairview Northland - FNMC, Fairview Southdale - FSH, UMMC/UMMCH-West Bank, M Health Clinic and Surgery Center, Grand Itasca GICH)


Critical Range:Less than 2.7 mmol/L and greater than 6.0 mmol/L
GICH: Less than 2.5 mmol/L and greater than 6.0 mmol/L
Reference Range:
0-11 mo 3.2-6.0 mmol/L
1 y and older 3.4-5.3 mmol/L
GICH: All ages 3.5-5.1 mmol/L
Serum values may be 0.1-0.2 mmol/L greater than plasma or whole blood values.
Use:Evaluate potassium metabolism.

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