Both adult and newborn blood plasma potassium concentration rose significantly when whole blood was kept on ice for periods of 5 hours. This appears to be due to inhibition of red cell glycolysis. The rise in plasma potassium concentration of blood from newborn infants is significantly greater than that occurring in blood from adults; this difference is a function of the neonate's increased red cell volume. Meaningful interpretation of potassium concentration, particularly in the newly born, demands that the plasma be separated immediately.

The plasma potassium concentration of normal newborns at birth does not differ significantly from adults; in this study the mean value in 20 infants was 4.81 mEq/l.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.