Arterial blood gases

Test/Range/Collection

Arterial blood gases (ABG), whole blood

Heparinized syringe

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Collect arterial blood in a heparinized syringe, and send to laboratory immediately.

Physiologic Basis

Blood gas measurements provide information about cardiopulmonary (oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange) and metabolic (acid-base) status. When integrated with the history and physical examination, the rapidly available arterial blood gas (ABG) analysis is useful in the care of the acutely ill or injured patient.

Interpretation

See Carbon Dioxide, Oxygen, and pH.

Comments

In addition to the measurement of pH and partial pressures of oxygen and carbon dioxide, the bicarbonate concentration is calculated.

Wagner PD. The physiological basis of pulmonary gas exchange: implications for clinical interpretation of arterial blood gases. Eur Respir J 2015;45:227.  [PMID: 25323225]

Arterial blood gases is a sample topic from the Guide to Diagnostic Tests.

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