Extreme acidosis – how low can you go?

How low a pH can the human body handle? How bad is acidosis in cardiac arrest? Is there any point attempting to resuscitate a cardiac arrest patient with a pH of 6.8?

How low a pH can the human body handle? How bad is acidosis in cardiac arrest? Is there any point attempting to resuscitate a cardiac arrest patient with a pH of 6.8?

In this lecture from #SWEETs17, Jonathan Ilicki presents a poem covering cardiac arrest physiology, acidosis and the extreme boundaries of the human body. Discover what acidosis does to the human body and how low we can go!


Chris Turner contacted us in the comments to let us know about what seems to be the world record in extreme acidosis (pH 6,27) in survived cardiac arrest. Unfortunately, that case wasn’t identified prior to the lecture and was therefore not included. The case lives here.

And in the words of Chris himself: “There may be more…”




Slides as pdf

About Jonathan

  • Emergency Medicine Resident, Clinical Innovation Fellow. EM resident at Karolinska, Stockholm. Special interest in arrestology and EBM. Find him on linkedin. Email: j dot ilicki at gmail.
  • More content on his youtube channel
  • He promises to be on twitter soon…


More from SWEETs17

Stay tuned for more talks from SWEETs17 here on scanFOAM. Also, make sure to follow the SWEETs team on twitter.


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Mads Astvad

Scandinavian paediatric anaesthetist / intensivist.
Digital MedEd
Co-founder scanFOAM.org
Co-organiser CphCC & TBS-Zermatt (aka The Big Sick)
Medical lead REPEL (resilience in pediatric emergency life support)
Web dev SSAI.info

Medical doctor and clinical innovation fellow passionate about Emergency Medicine and the intersection of science, EBM and technology. Currently leading medical innovation and development at a Scandinavian healthtech company.

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Stuart Duffin
Stuart Duffin
7 years ago

Great talk! Truely impressive! Sorry to have missed it live.

Chris Turner
Chris Turner
6 years ago

Hi, a really good talk but I think you missed a lower pH survivor
There may be more…

COI or affiliation
6 years ago
Reply to  Chris Turner

Fascinating! Pity I didn’t find that case prior to the lecture. Will add a note on the video to and reference that case, which is (to the best of my knowledge) the world record in acidosis and arrest.

Amanda Lorenz
Amanda Lorenz
2 years ago

Hello, I found your website searching for myself, in January of 2013 or 2014 I was admitted to United Memorial Medical Center in batavia, NY. I was there in a coma, that I was told when I woke that I shouldn’t be awake let alone speaking full sentences. Doctors came from every part of the hospital and I was told I was a miracle, several nurses cried. To Me it was nothing as I didn’t experience it, I thought I was just DKA As I have been a few times throughout my now 30 years as a diabetic. But one… Read more »

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