Describe the electrocardiographic (ECG) changes seen with hyperkalaemia. (30% of marks) Outline the pharmacologic principles of drugs used in the management of severe hyperkalemia. (70% of marks)

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College Answer

In general, knowledge of the ECG changes of hyperkalaemia was lacking. Most candidates could list the drugs used in hyperkalaemia, but few gave adequate detail of their mechanism of lowering potassium, dosing, time to onset and duration of action. Many candidates mentioned dialysis or renal replacement therapy which is not a drug therapy for hyperkalaemia; therefore no points were awarded for this.