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The treatment of hyperkalemia is based upon the underlying cause of the hyperkalemia and the severity of symptoms (or the presence of EKG abnormalities) as well as upon the overall health status of the patient. Mild hyperkalemia in a healthy individual may be treated on an outpatient basis. Emergency treatment is necessary if hyperkalemia is severe and has caused changes in the EKG, suggesting an effect on heart function. Severe hyperkalemia is usually treated in the hospital, frequently in an intensive care unit.
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