A person develops respiratory acidosis by retaining carbon dioxide.


Drugs causing depression of the central respiratory center:

(1) opiates

(2) benzodiazepines

(3) anesthetic agents

(4) barbiturates


Conditions causing depression of the central respiratory center:

(1) stroke, especially with brainstem involvement

(2) infection

(3) brain tumor

(4) multiple sclerosis

(5) head trauma


Pulmonary disorders associated with accumulation of carbon dioxide:

(1) airway obstruction (foreign body, tumor, laryngospasm, mucus plugging, other)

(2) asthma

(3) chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

(4) pneumonconiosis

(5) interstitial lung disease

(6) acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)

(7) barotrauma

(8) pneumonia

(9) pneumothorax

(10) pulmonary edema


Neuromuscular disorders with impaired respiration:

(1) poliomyelitis

(2) myasthenia gravis

(3) kyphoscoliosis

(4) muscular dystrophy

(5) diaphragmatic paralysis


Reduced thoracic excursion:

(1) obesity-hypoventilation syndrome

(2) scleroderma

(3) chest constriction (coiled snake, burial, crush injury)


Conditions associated with increased carbon dioxide generation:

(1) enteral or parenteral nutrition with excess calories


Other conditions:

(1) fixed setting to mechanical ventilator

(2) cardiac arrest (unable to get venous blood to the lungs)


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