The primary objective was to evaluate the effect of parenteral potassium chloride (KCl) supplementation on potassium (K+) concentrations in a non-cardiac pediatric population. Secondary outcomes were to identify variables that may influence response to KCl supplementation (i.e., change in K+ concentration after KCl administration) and assess the incidence of hyperkalemia.
This single-center, retrospective study evaluated infants and children who received parenteral KCl supplementation of 0.5 or 1 mEq/kg between January 2017 and December 2019.
The study included 102 patients with a median age of 1 year (IQR, 0.4–3.9) and weight of 9.1 kg (IQR, 4.9–14.2) who received 288 parenteral KCl administrations. One hundred seventy-three administrations were in the 1 mEq/kg group, and 115 administrations were in the 0.5 mEq/kg group. The median changes in K+ were 0.8 and 0.5 mEq/L in the 1 mEq/kg and 0.5 mEq/kg groups, respectively. Patients who had a repeat K+ concentration within 4 hours of the end of a 1 to 2–hour infusion had a higher median change in K+ compared with those who had a concentration drawn after this time frame (0.8 vs 0.6 mEq/L; p < 0.01).
There is a paucity of data on the correlation between parenteral KCl supplementation and change in K+ concentrations in pediatric patients. Our study demonstrated an association between KCl supplementation doses of 1 and 0.5 mEq/kg and changes in K+ of 0.8 and 0.5 mEq/L, respectively, in non-cardiac pediatric patients, with low observed incidence of hyperkalemia.