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Blood Gases

Blood Gases is a topic covered in the Davis's Lab & Diagnostic Tests.

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Synonym/Acronym:
Arterial blood gases (ABGs), venous blood gases, capillary blood gases, cord blood gases.

Rationale
To assess oxygenation and acid-base balance.

Patient Preparation
There are no food, fluid, activity, or medication restrictions unless by medical direction.

Normal Findings
Method: Selective electrodes for pH, Pco2, and Po2.

Blood Gas Value (pH)ArterialVenousCapillary
Scalp7.25–7.35
Birth, cord, full term7.11–7.367.25–7.457.32–7.49
Adult/child7.35–7.457.32–7.437.35–7.45
Note: SI units (conversion factor × 1).
Pco2ArterialSI Units (Conventional Units × 0.133)VenousSI Units (Conventional Units × 0.133)CapillarySI Units (Conventional Units × 0.133)
Scalp40–50 mm Hg5.3–6.6 kPa
Birth, cord, full term32–66 mm Hg4.3–8.8 kPa27–49 mm Hg3.6–6.5 kPa
Newborn–adult35–45 mm Hg4.7–6 kPa41–51 mm Hg5.4–6.8 kPa26–41 mm Hg3.5–5.4 kPa
Po2ArterialSI Units (Conventional Units × 0.133)VenousSI Units (Conventional Units × 0.133)CapillarySI Units (Conventional Units × 0.133)
Scalp20–30 mm Hg2.7–4 kPa
Birth, cord, full term8–24 mm Hg1.1–3.2 kPa17–41 mm Hg2.3–5.4 kPa
0–1 hr33–85 mm Hg4.4–11.3 kPa
Greater than 1 hr–adult80–95 mm Hg10.6–12.6 kPa20–49 mm Hg2.7–6.5 kPa80–95 mm Hg10.6–12.6 kPa
HCO3-Arterial Conventional and SI UnitsVenous Conventional and SI UnitsCapillary Conventional and SI Units
Birth, cord, full term17–24 mmol/L17–24 mmol/L
2 mo–2 yr16–23 mmol/L24–28 mmol/L18–23 mmol/L
Adult22–26 mmol/L24–28 mmol/L18–23 mmol/L
O2 SatArterialVenousCapillary
Birth, cord, full term40%–90%40%–70%
Adult/child95%–99%70%–75%95%–98%
Values may be at the lower end of the normal range in older adults.
Oxygen Content: ArterialOxygen Content: Venous
6.6–9.7 mmol/L 4.9–7.1 mmol/L
Tco2Arterial Conventional and SI Units mmol/LVenous Conventional and SI Units mmol/L
Birth, cord, full term13–22 mmol/L14–22 mmol/L
Adult/child22–29 mmol/L25–30 mmol/L
Base Excess ArterialConventional and SI Units
Birth, cord, full term(–10) – (–2) mmol/L
Adult/child(–2) – (+3) mmol/L

Critical Findings and Potential Interventions

Timely notification to the requesting health-care provider (HCP) of any critical findings and related symptoms is a role expectation of the professional nurse. A listing of these findings varies among facilities.

Consideration may be given to verification of critical findings before action is taken. Policies vary among facilities and may include requesting recollection and retesting by the laboratory.

Arterial Blood Gas ParameterLess ThanGreater Than
Adult/childpH7.27.6
Adult/childHCO3-10 mmol/L40 mmol/L
Adult/childPco220 mm Hg (SI: 2.7 kPa)67 mm Hg (SI: 8.9 kPa)
Adult/childPo245 mm Hg (SI: 6 kPa)
NewbornsPo237 mm Hg (SI: 4.9 kPa)92 mm Hg (SI: 12.2 kPa)

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Citation

Bladh, Mickey Lynn., and Anne M. Van Leeuwen. "Blood Gases." Davis's Lab & Diagnostic Tests, 7th ed., F.A. Davis Company, 2017. Nursing Central, nursing.unboundmedicine.com/nursingcentral/view/Davis-Lab-and-Diagnostic-Tests/425378/all/Blood_Gases.
Bladh ML, Van Leeuwen AM. Blood Gases. Davis's Lab & Diagnostic Tests. 7th ed. F.A. Davis Company; 2017. https://nursing.unboundmedicine.com/nursingcentral/view/Davis-Lab-and-Diagnostic-Tests/425378/all/Blood_Gases. Accessed July 21, 2019.
Bladh, M. L., & Van Leeuwen, A. M. (2017). Blood Gases. In Davis's Lab & Diagnostic Tests. Available from https://nursing.unboundmedicine.com/nursingcentral/view/Davis-Lab-and-Diagnostic-Tests/425378/all/Blood_Gases
Bladh ML, Van Leeuwen AM. Blood Gases [Internet]. In: Davis's Lab & Diagnostic Tests. F.A. Davis Company; 2017. [cited 2019 July 21]. Available from: https://nursing.unboundmedicine.com/nursingcentral/view/Davis-Lab-and-Diagnostic-Tests/425378/all/Blood_Gases.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - Blood Gases ID - 425378 A1 - Bladh,Mickey Lynn, AU - Van Leeuwen,Anne M, BT - Davis's Laboratory & Diagnostic Tests UR - https://nursing.unboundmedicine.com/nursingcentral/view/Davis-Lab-and-Diagnostic-Tests/425378/all/Blood_Gases PB - F.A. Davis Company ET - 7 DB - Nursing Central DP - Unbound Medicine ER -