In this episode of PICU Doc On Call, your hosts Pradip Kamat and Rahul Damania, experienced Pediatric ICU physicians, take you on an enlightening journey through the intricate landscape of lactic acidosis. Join us as we unravel the complexities, share clinical insights, and provide practical guidance on diagnosing and managing this critical condition in the acute care pediatric setting.

You will hear:

Case Presentation:

4-year-old boy with hypotension, fatigue, rash, and respiratory distress

Recent COVID-19 exposure, concerning respiratory symptoms

Hypotensive, tachycardic, tachypneic, low pulse oximetry reading

Swollen red lips, erythematous rash, hepatomegaly

High-flow nasal cannula, resuscitation, epinephrine infusion

Initial arterial blood gas: pH 7.22, lactate 4.5 mMol/L

Definition of Lactic Acidosis:

  • Hyperlactatemia and lactic acidosis criteria
  • Causes: impaired tissue oxygenation or mitochondrial dysfunction

Types of Lactic Acidosis:

  • Type A: Impaired O2 delivery, shock-related
  • Type B: Impaired O2 utilization, toxins, infections

Lactate Measurement:

  • Comparability between POCT and central lab analysis
  • Role of lactate measurement in pediatric sepsis

Lactic Washout:

  • Rising lactate with re-established oxygen delivery
  • Impaired clearance in microcirculation, liver, kidney
  • Monitoring trends with clinical exams and lab surrogates

Bicarbonate Therapy:

  • Role in Type A lactic acidosis
  • Controversy, indications, and potential complications


PICU Doc On Call podcast explores the intriguing case of a 4-year-old boy with lactic acidosis, highlighting the clinical intricacies of diagnosing and managing this condition. The hosts, Pradip Kamat and Rahul Damania provide insightful discussions on the different types of lactic acidosis, the physiological mechanisms behind it, and the role of bicarbonate therapy. The episode emphasizes the importance of addressing underlying causes and offers valuable clinical pearls for managing pediatric patients with lactic acidosis.

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