We studied the use of sodium bicarbonate administration in a canine model of hemorrhagic shock to determine its effect on hemodynamics, arterial and venous blood gases, respiratory gases, and blood lactate levels. Thirteen dogs were anesthetized, paralyzed, mechanically ventilated, and hemodynamically monitored. Hypotension was induced and maintained at a mean arterial pressure of 40 to 45 mm Hg using controlled hemorrhage and reinfusion. After 2.5 h of shock, the dogs were randomized into two groups: one group (n = 6) received NaCl infusion; the other (n = 7) received sodium bicarbonate (1 mEq/kg followed by a continuous infusion of 2.5 mEq/kg h for 2.5 h). CO2 production was increased in the alkali group, but there was no statistically significant difference between groups in any measured hemodynamic, blood gas, or respiratory gas variable. These included heart rate, BP, cardiac output, arterial and venous pH, CO2 production, and bicarbonate levels. Blood lactate levels, however, in the bicarbonate treated animals were significantly (p < .01) higher than in the group treated with NaCl alone (10.1 ± 3.2 vs. 5.1 ± 1.2 mEq/L). These results are similar to the effects of bicarbonate found in other models of lactic aciosis, and suggest that bicarbonate therapy may have limited usefulness in the treatment of lactic acidosis.