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Hyperkalemia is a potentially fatal condition found most often in kidney dialysis patients that causes pain, severely erratic pulse, and tissue swelling throughout the body. Hyperkalemia is the result of extremely high levels of potassium in the blood and, in an emergency, can be treated with an injection of calcium chloride. However, since calcium chloride destroys surrounding tissues if it escapes from a vein, doctors overwhelmingly prefer preventative treatments.
Which of the following can most logically be concluded based on the passage above?
A, Potassium is poisonous except in very small amounts.
B, Since the symptoms of hyperkalemia resemble those of heart attack, the condition is often misdiagnosed.
C, Calcium supplements are the preferred preventative treatment for hyperkalemia.
D, The kidneys are at least partially responsible for removing excess potassium from the bloodstream.
E, Most cases of hyperkalemia result in permanent tissue damage.
his is an inference question. Option D is perfect. In fact the question is designed to make one fall for (A).
Consider option (A) first: According to the info provided " Hyperkalemia is a potentially fatal condition ...... Hyperkalemia is the result of extremely high levels of potassium in the blood "
Thus we can logically deduce that high levels of potassium are poisonous. However, we cannot take it to mean that in very small amounts potassium is not poisonous. Option (A) is "Potassium is poisonous except in very small amounts." The statement suggests two things: 1. that in small amounts potassium is not poisonous. and 2. that in moderate (or not very small) amounts potassium is poisonous. Neither of them logically follow from the information provided.
Now consider option (D)
According to the information provided: "Hyperkalemia is a potentially fatal condition found MOST OFTEN in kidney dialysis patients........ Hyperkalemia is the result of extremely high levels of potassium in the blood"
This clearly suggests that kidney plays some role in flushing out excess potassium from the blood, since its mostly kidney patients that are afflicted with this condition.
Thus option D "The kidneys are AT LEAST PARTIALLY responsible for removing excess potassium from the bloodstream.".
Further, "AT LEAST PARTIALLY" in the answer option is logically consistent with "MOST OFTEN" in the original passage.