The Effects of Elevated Atmospheric CO2 On Acid-Base Balance and Red- Cell Electrolytes of FBM Submarine Crew Members
Medical research progress rept. no. 1
NAVAL SUBMARINE MEDICAL RESEARCH LAB GROTON CT
Pagination or Media Count:
Blood from twelve volunteers serving on a submarine and breathing elevated levels of CO2 was analyzed for electrolyte, pH, and pCO2 levels in the plasma and in red-cell hemolysates. The method for measuring pH and pCO2 in frozen samples entails certain difficulties due to loss of CO2 during storage. Empirically determined correction factors were used for pH and pCO2. After seven days of exposure to the submarine atmosphere 0.9 CO2 red cell pH was statistically significantly lower, than control values, while plasma pH showed only a tendency to decrease, plasma chloride was decreased and red cell chloride increased. These findings were considered as evidence suggesting existence of a mild respiratory acidosis. After forty-two days of exposure plasma chloride was still significantly reduced and red cell chloride slightly elevated. Moreover, red cell sodium was increased and red cell potassium decreased, while pH values of plasma and red cells did not differ significantly from control levels. The electrolyte shifts observed after forty-two days have been interpreted as evidence suggestive of an existing acidosis.
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