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QOTD: Hyperkalemia is a potentially fatal condition found

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QOTD: Hyperkalemia is a potentially fatal condition found  [#permalink]

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Verbal Question of The Day: Day 32: Critical Reasoning


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Hyperkalemia is a potentially fatal condition found most often in patients on kidney dialysis, who have lost over 80% of their kidney function. The condition, which causes pain, severely erratic pulse, and tissue swelling throughout the body, stems from 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. Nonetheless, recipients of a donated kidney are not monitored for hyperkalemia after a successful kidney transplant.

If the statements above are all true, which of the following can properly be inferred on the basis of them?

(A) Most patients on kidney dialysis have high levels of potassium in their blood.
(B) Kidney failure is likely to cause severely erratic pulse and tissue swelling.
(C) The kidneys are at least partially responsible for maintaining adequate levels of calcium chloride in the blood.
(D) Patients who have lost 50% of their kidney function are not likely to develop hyperkalemia.
(E) Proper kidney function most likely involves the removal of excess potassium from the bloodstream.

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QOTD: Hyperkalemia is a potentially fatal condition found  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jun 2017, 09:30
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Inference questions can be a pain in the butt, just because there may or may not be much structure to the argument. Ultimately, all we're trying to do is find four wrong answers that aren't supported by the passage. But that can be tricky, because sometimes it's hard to really make sense of the passage before moving on to the answer choices.

In this particular question, we're not directly asked to explain or identify a discrepancy, but it seems like we have a discrepancy in this passage: despite the fact that doctors prefer treatments to prevent hyperkalemia, kidney transplant recipients are not monitored for hyperkalemia... why not? Here's what we know:

  • Hyperkalemia is found most often in patients on kidney dialysis--patients who have lost over 80% of their kidney function.
  • Hyperkalemia is potentially fatal and causes pain, severely erratic pulse, and tissue swelling throughout the body.
  • Hyperkalemia stems from extremely high levels of potassium in the blood.
  • In an emergency, hyperkalemia can be treated with an injection of calcium chloride.
  • Since calcium chloride destroys surrounding tissues if it escapes from a vein, doctors overwhelmingly prefer preventative treatments for hyperkalemia. In other words, doctors prefer to prevent the condition rather than letting it develop and then having to treat it with calcium chloride in an emergency. We can infer that doctors would want to monitor patients who are likely to develop hyperkalemia in order to provide preventative treatments and avoid using calcium chloride.
  • However, recipients of a donated kidney are NOT monitored for hyperkalemia after a successful kidney transplant.

At first, this might seem like a discrepancy. Kidney transplant recipients clearly have had kidney problems, so wouldn't it be better to monitor those patients for hyperkalemia rather than waiting until the condition develops and then having to use calcium chloride in an emergency? But if those recipients are actually NOT likely to develop hyperkalemia, then this information makes sense. So, which of the choices can properly be inferred based on what we know?

(A) We are told that hyperkalemia is found most often in patients on kidney dialysis, but that does not necessarily mean that most patients on kidney dialysis have hyperkalemia or high levels of potassium in their blood. In other words, patients on kidney dialysis are more likely to have hyperkalemia, but we don't know exactly how likely those patients are to have the condition. (A) can be eliminated.

(B) Hyperkalemia is found most often in patients who have lost over 80% of their kidney function. As explained for choice (A), this does not necessarily mean that those patients are likely to have hyperkalemia or the associated symptoms. (B) can be eliminated.

(C) Calcium chloride can be used to treat hyperkalemia in an emergency, but that does not necessarily mean that levels of calcium chloride in the blood have anything to do with the development of the condition. Thus, we cannot infer that the kidneys play a role in maintaining adequate levels of calcium chloride in the blood, and (C) can be eliminated.

(D) As explained for choices (A) and (B), we don't know exactly how likely it is for patients with kidney failure to have hyperkalemia. If most patients with 80% kidney failure develop hyperkalemia, it is certainly possible that patients with only 50% kidney failure are also likely to develop the condition, but we don't know one way or the other. So choice (D) can be eliminated.

(E) Hyperkalemia stems from extremely high levels of potassium in the blood and is found most often in patients who have lost over 80% of their kidney function. This suggests that kidneys play a role in keeping potassium levels in the blood from getting too high. Thus, choice (E) is the best answer.
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Re: QOTD: Hyperkalemia is a potentially fatal condition found  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jun 2017, 09:46
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My Answer => E

Hyperkalemia is a potentially fatal condition found most often in patients on kidney dialysis, who have lost over 80% of their kidney function. The condition, which causes pain, severely erratic pulse, and tissue swelling throughout the body, stems from 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. Nonetheless, recipients of a donated kidney are not monitored for hyperkalemia after a successful kidney transplant.

If the statements above are all true, which of the following can properly be inferred on the basis of them?

(A) Most patients on kidney dialysis have high levels of potassium in their blood. -Maybe true. We can't be sure. Because Hyperkalemia is caused mostly in those cases in which kidney's functionality is reduced to 20% or less.
(B) Kidney failure is likely to cause severely erratic pulse and tissue swelling. -Maybe true. We are not talking about kidney failure cases in this argument.
(C) The kidneys are at least partially responsible for maintaining adequate levels of calcium chloride in the blood. -Irrelevant
(D) Patients who have lost 50% of their kidney function are not likely to develop hyperkalemia. -Can't say from the given information. All we need is a high level of potassium. Kidney's percentage loss of functionality is merely an indicator.
(E) Proper kidney function most likely involves the removal of excess potassium from the bloodstream. -CORRECT ANSWER. In a properly working kidney system, hyperkalemia is not found. The cause of hyperkalemia is excessive potassium. Thus, normal kidney function most likely involves the removal of excess potassium, thus helping prevent hyperkalemia.

Please correct me if i am going wrong anywhere in my thought process.
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Re: QOTD: Hyperkalemia is a potentially fatal condition found  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jun 2017, 09:49
Hyperkalemia is a potentially fatal condition found most often in patients on kidney dialysis, who have lost over 80% of their kidney function. The condition, which causes pain, severely erratic pulse, and tissue swelling throughout the body, stems from 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. Nonetheless, recipients of a donated kidney are not monitored for hyperkalemia after a successful kidney transplant.

Type- Inference
Pre-thinking - If post a successful kidney transplant, one is not monitored for hyperkalemia --> he/she does not have extremely high levels of potassium in the blood

If the statements above are all true, which of the following can properly be inferred on the basis of them?

(A) Most patients on kidney dialysis have high levels of potassium in their blood. - Incorrect
(B) Kidney failure is likely to cause severely erratic pulse and tissue swelling. - Incorrect - some other cause might cause these symptoms
(C) The kidneys are at least partially responsible for maintaining adequate levels of calcium chloride in the blood. - Incorrect - Calcium chloride may not even be present in blood in a normal person
(D) Patients who have lost 50% of their kidney function are not likely to develop hyperkalemia. - Incorrect - we are only given that people who have lost 80% of kidney function suffer from hyperkalemia
(E) Proper kidney function most likely involves the removal of excess potassium from the bloodstream. - Correct

Answer E
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QOTD: Hyperkalemia is a potentially fatal condition found  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 13 Jun 2017, 11:42
souvik101990 wrote:

Hyperkalemia is a potentially fatal condition found most often in patients on kidney dialysis, who have lost over 80% of their kidney function. The condition, which causes pain, severely erratic pulse, and tissue swelling throughout the body, stems from 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. Nonetheless, recipients of a donated kidney are not monitored for hyperkalemia after a successful kidney transplant.

If the statements above are all true, which of the following can properly be inferred on the basis of them?

(A) Most patients on kidney dialysis have high levels of potassium in their blood.
(B) Kidney failure is likely to cause severely erratic pulse and tissue swelling.
(C) The kidneys are at least partially responsible for maintaining adequate levels of calcium chloride in the blood.
(D) Patients who have lost 50% of their kidney function are not likely to develop hyperkalemia.
(E) Proper kidney function most likely involves the removal of excess potassium from the bloodstream.

I picked C by POE. Here is how..

(A) Most patients on kidney dialysis have high levels of potassium in their blood. We are given a case of 80% failure of Kidneys. We have no data for a level less than that.

(B) Kidney failure is likely to cause severely erratic pulse and tissue swelling. These are the symptoms of 80% failure. No data is given for symptoms of a level less than that.

(C) The kidneys are at least partially responsible for maintaining adequate levels of calcium chloride in the blood. I picked this one by POE

(D) Patients who have lost 50% of their kidney function are not likely to develop hyperkalemia. We don't know that. This condition is found most often in 80% failure.

(E) Proper kidney function most likely involves the removal of excess potassium from the bloodstream. High Potassium levels in hyperkalemia may occur because of a thousand reasons. There may be a possibility that the Potassium does not reach the blood at all unless Kidneys are failing. So, there is no need to remove it at all. Long story short, we have no data about normal kidney function.
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Originally posted by umg on 13 Jun 2017, 10:50.
Last edited by umg on 13 Jun 2017, 11:42, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: QOTD: Hyperkalemia is a potentially fatal condition found  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jun 2017, 11:28
Hi,

I got stuck between D and E but I chose D because in the passage it states patients who give their kidney are not monitored for Hyperkalemia which means if a person loses 50% ability of his kidney then he is not in danger of getting Hyperkalemia which is stated in option D.
Although option E was close but in passage it says Hyperkalemia is found in people who are on dialysis then may be the dialysis is the reason for high potassium level which is not normally observed in the body.

Correct me if I am wrong.
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Re: QOTD: Hyperkalemia is a potentially fatal condition found  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jun 2017, 19:42
selected E by PoE.

A) Most patients on kidney dialysis have high levels of potassium in their blood.

- Not supported by passage, kidney dialysis only helps to find hyperkalemia present in Ppl. who have lost 80% of kidney function.

(B) Kidney failure is likely to cause severely erratic pulse and tissue swelling.

- The word kidney failure is not mentioned in passsage

(C) The kidneys are at least partially responsible for maintaining adequate levels of calcium chloride in the blood.

-Not supported by passage. CaCl is only used during emergency and is a corrective treatment.

(D) Patients who have lost 50% of their kidney function are not likely to develop hyperkalemia. -

Not supported by passage.

(E) Proper kidney function most likely involves the removal of excess potassium from the bloodstream.

- Excess potassium causes pain during hyperkalemia, which occurs when kidney looses 80% of its function. hence a proper kidney function should remove potassium.
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Re: QOTD: Hyperkalemia is a potentially fatal condition found  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Jun 2017, 03:03
The answer must be option E. My take :

This is an inference type question where we are presented a set of facts and asked to draw a conclusion.

Pre-think - The paragraph states that when healthy kidney is transplanted , chances of Hyperkalemia come down. On the contrary a kidney effected by Hyperkalemia will fail to flush out excess potassium. So one inference could be that healthy kidney needs to flush out excess potassium.

POE -

Option a - Not implied by the passage
Option b - Kidney failure not mentioned
Option c - Not supported
Option d - Not implied
Option e - On the lines of our pre-thinking.

The answer has to be option E.
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Re: QOTD: Hyperkalemia is a potentially fatal condition found  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Jul 2018, 08:01
arpansamal wrote:
Hi,

I got stuck between D and E but I chose D because in the passage it states patients who give their kidney are not monitored for Hyperkalemia which means if a person loses 50% ability of his kidney then he is not in danger of getting Hyperkalemia which is stated in option D.
Although option E was close but in passage it says Hyperkalemia is found in people who are on dialysis then may be the dialysis is the reason for high potassium level which is not normally observed in the body.

Correct me if I am wrong.


Option E is right because the stimulus says that Hyperkalemia is found on people on dialysis, who have lost 80% function of their kidney. This implies that some people on dialysis who have not lost 80% function of their kidney may not develop
Hyperkalemia. Dialysis isn't the cause. That's how you misinterpreted option E.

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Re: QOTD: Hyperkalemia is a potentially fatal condition found  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Jul 2018, 08:28
This is not gmat official. This level of vague inference is not tested on gmat.

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Re: QOTD: Hyperkalemia is a potentially fatal condition found  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Jul 2018, 23:53
The problem with answer choice D is we can't say for sure as it is nowhere explicitly mentioned. Always choose the answer choice which can be properly substantiated only from the information given.

Cheers!

arpansamal wrote:
Hi,

I got stuck between D and E but I chose D because in the passage it states patients who give their kidney are not monitored for Hyperkalemia which means if a person loses 50% ability of his kidney then he is not in danger of getting Hyperkalemia which is stated in option D.
Although option E was close but in passage it says Hyperkalemia is found in people who are on dialysis then may be the dialysis is the reason for high potassium level which is not normally observed in the body.

Correct me if I am wrong.

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Re: QOTD: Hyperkalemia is a potentially fatal condition found &nbs [#permalink] 12 Jul 2018, 23:53
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