Arterial Blood Gas Sampling and Analysis

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These are typical reference ranges, although various analysers and laboratories may employ different ranges.

Online Interpreter ABG : http://manuelsweb.com/abg.htm

Analyte Range Interpretation
pH 7.35-7.45 The pH or H+ indicates if a patient is acidotic (pH < 7.35; H+ >45) or alkalemic (pH > 7.45; H+ < 35).
H+ 35-45 nmol/l(nM) See above.
PaO2 9.3-13.3kPa or 80-100mmHg A low O2 indicates that the patient is not respiring properly, and is hypoxemic. At a PaO2 of less than 60 mm Hg, supplemental oxygen should be administered. At a PaO2 of less than 26 mm Hg, the patient is at risk of death and must be oxygenated immediately.
PaCO2 4.7-6.0 kPa or 35-45 mmHg The carbon dioxide and partial pressure (PaCO2) indicates a respiratory problem: for a constant metabolic rate, the PaCO2 is determined entirely by ventilation. A high PaCO2 (respiratory acidosis) indicates underventilation, a low PaCO2 (respiratory alkalosis) hyper- or overventilation. PaCO2 levels can also become abnormal when the respiratory system is working to compensate for a metabolic issue so as to normalize the blood pH. An elevated PaCO2 level is desired in some disorders associated with respiratory failure; this is known as permissive hypercapnia.
HCO3? 22-26 mmol/l The HCO3- ion indicates whether a metabolic problem is present (such as ketoacidosis). A low HCO3? indicates metabolic acidosis, a high HCO3? indicatesmetabolic alkalosis. HCO3? levels can also become abnormal when the kidneys are working to compensate for a respiratory issue so as to normalize the blood pH.
SBCe 21 to 27 mmol/l the bicarbonate concentration in the blood at a CO2 of 5.33 kPa, full oxygen saturation and 37 degrees Celsius.
Base excess 3 to +3 mmol/l The base excess is used for the assessment of the metabolic component of acid-base disorders, and indicates whether the patient has metabolic acidosis or metabolic alkalosis. A negative base excess indicates that the patient has metabolic acidosis (primary or secondary to respiratory alkalosis). A positive base excess indicates that the patient has metabolic alkalosis (primary or secondary to respiratory acidosis).
HPO42? 0.8 to 1.5 mM
total CO2(tCO2(P)c) 25 to 30 mmol/l This is the total amount of CO2, and is the sum of HCO3? and PCO2 by the formula:
tCO2 = [HCO3?] + ?*PCO2, where ?=0.226 mM/kPa, HCO3? is expressed in millimolar concentration (mM) (mmol/l) and PCO2 is expressed in kPa
total O2(tO2e) This is the sum of oxygen solved in plasma and chemically bound to hemoglobin.


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  1. December 10, 2010

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