ARTERIAL BLOOD GASES (ABGs) Test
Arterial blood gases (ABGs) is a test that measures the acidity (PH) and the amount of oxygen (O2), carbon dioxide (CO2) and bicarbonate (HCO3) in the blood from an artery. The ABG test is performed on patients in ICU.
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ARTERIAL BLOOD GASES Test Measures:
PH: The pH measure hydrogen ions (H+) in blood. The ph of blood should be between 7.35-7.45. A pH of less than 7 is called acidic, and a pH greater than 7 is called Basic.
PARTIAL PRESSURE OF CARBON DIOXIDE (PaCO2): This measure the pressure of carbon dioxide dissolved in the blood. A high PaCO2 indicates respiratory acidosis, and low PaCO2 shows respiratory alkalosis.
PARTIAL PRESSURE OF OXYGEN (PaO2): This measure the pressure of oxygen dissolved in the blood.
BICARBONATE (HCO3): Bicarbonate is a chemical (buffer), that maintains the pH of the blood. It also indicates whether a metabolic problem is present. A low HCO3 indicates metabolic acidosis, a high HCO3- indicates metabolic alkalosis.
OXYGEN SATURATION (SaO2): The saturation depends on the PaO2 but also Haemoglobin (Hb). This measures how much of the Hb in the RBCs carrying oxygen.
PURPOSE OF THE ARTERIAL BLOOD GASES (ABGs) Test :
This test checks how well your lungs can move oxygen into the blood and remove carbon dioxide from the blood. It also provides information about the body’s acid/base balance, which can reveal clues about kidney function and the body’s metabolic state. Imbalance in pH, CO2 and O2 levels in the blood can indicate the specific medical conditions such as
- Kidney disease
- Lung disease
- Metabolic disease
SOURCE OF TEST SAMPLE
Blood is withdrawn from the radial artery. However, the femoral artery and brachial artery can be used if necessary, with a needle/syringe.
There is no specific preparation. The concentration must remain constant for 20 minutes before the test for oxygen therapy patient.
RISKS OF ABGS:
The risks which associated with this test are:
- Bleeding at the puncture site
- Hematoma (blood accumulating under the skin)
- Feeling faint