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Arterial Blood Gas Sampling and Analysis


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

Online Interpreter ABG :

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.

One thought on “Arterial Blood Gas Sampling and Analysis”

  1. Loren Redburn
    Ice Vial Inc.
    Weymouth,MA 02190
    [email protected]

    CST Solves Problems with Improper ABG & Blood Specimen Handling

    Weymouth, MA Ice Vial Inc. releases their new technology, the Cold Specimen Transport (CST). The CST device was developed to keep blood specimens from deteriorating due to high and low temperatures (Arterial Blood Gases, Ammonia, Lactate, Glucose, and Potassium) between the time of acquisition and receipt by the clinical laboratory. CST helps to solve the problems and confusion on how to handle transporting ABGs to the lab.

    There are studies that show O2 diffuses into plastic syringes maintained at the low temperatures that occur when packed in ice and increase the pco2 to an extent that could influence patient care decisions.
    Studies also show that ABGs that are sent at ambient temperatures and take longer then 15 min before they get analyzed could render potassium and glucose levels misleading and could also potentially change the care to the patient.

    The CST technology is a temperature controlled specimen bag that keeps blood specimens from deteriorating due to diffusion of gases into or out of plastic syringes at low temperature and metabolic changes that occur in specimens at ambient temperature. The CST reduces these sources of potentially serious error. If you have any questions or would be interested in receiving a free sample, please call us at 781-812-5157 or email us at [email protected]

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