Viva 3

You are referred a 35-year-old female by the Emergency Department, who presented with a reduced level of consciousness. She has been intubated and ventilated and is haemodynamically stable.
Her CT brain is normal, and she is apyrexial.
She has no known past medical history.
Investigations on admission are shown in TABLE 1*
Interpret these biochemical findings.
*Table 1 not included in the report. 

In the absence of actual biochemical findings to interpret, this is a pointless viva entry. 
I have included an alternative Table 1, which - though noncanonical - should suffice as a starting point for discussion.


Patient Value

Normal Adult Range

Barometric pressure

760 mmHg (100 kPa)






7.35 – 7.45


40 mmHg (5.3 kPa)

35 – 45


110 mmHg (14.6 kPa)


24 mmol/L

22 – 27

Base Excess

-0.4 mmol/L

-2 – +2


136 mmol/L

135 – 145


4 mmol/L

3.5 – 4.5


118 mmol/L*

110 – 110


4.2 mmol/L

3.0 – 7.8


0.8 mmol/L

0.5 – 2.2


Disclaimer: the viva stem above may be an original CICM stem, acquired from their publicly available past papers. Or, perhaps it is a slightly altered version of the original CICM stem. Or, it is a completely original viva stem, concocted by the monstrously amoral author of Deranged Physiology for nothing more than his own personal amusement. In either case, because the college do not make the main viva text or marking criteria available, almost everything here has been confabulated. It might sound like a plausible viva and it could be used for the purpose of practice, but all should be aware that it does not represent the "true" canonical CICM viva station.