In cases of metabolic acidosis, the body should normally compensate physiologically. The normal PCO2 range is from 35-45, however, in cases of metabolic acidosis, it should change depending on the patient's bicarbonate (HCO3) level. Thus, the expected compensation can be calculated with this formula.
Winter's Formula is primarily used in metabolic acidosis, and uses the patient's bicarbonate level (HCO3) to help calculate what the appropriate respiratory compensation should be.
Winter's Formula calculates the expected PCO2 value with respiratory compensation in cases of metabolic acidosis. The formula is (HCO3 x 1.5) + 8 ± 2, which yields the expected PCO2 value.
Initially the bicarbonate is multiplied by 1.5.
Next, 8 is added to the value.
This calculation is then given a range of ± 2.
This should yield the expected value for PCO2 in a normal response to metabolic acidosis. This value should be compared to the patient's PCO2 value from their arterial-blood gas (ABG) analysis.
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