ABG Interpretation : Nursing Course


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The normal range for carbon dioxide in the blood is:

34-45 mm Hg

Rationale: Carbon dioxide (CO2) is carried in the blood to the lungs, where the excess amount combines with water to form carbonic acid (H2CO3). The blood pH will change according to the amount of carbonic acid that is present in the body. This level will trigger the respiratory buffer response, which is an increase or decrease in the depth of respirations in order to maintain an appropriate level of CO2 in the body.


A blood test that measures the acid-base balance of the blood and monitors oxygenation status is an:

arterial blood gas (ABG)

Rationale: An arterial blood gas is a test performed on arterial blood, often taken from the radial artery of a patient. The purpose of an ABG is to monitor the oxygenation status of a patient, as well as the acid-base balance in the body. Components of an ABG are pH, PO2,SO2, PCO2, HCO3, and base excess. All of these levels must be closely evaluated, and coordinated with all other levels in order to interpret what is going on with a patient.


The kidneys assist with maintaining the pH level in the blood by excreting or retaining:

bicarbonate (HCO3)

Rationale:

When a patient develops an acid-base imbalance, the body attempts to:

compensate

Rationale:

A diabetic patient that has a build up of lactic acid in the bloodstream is at risk of developing:

metabolic acidosis

Rationale:

A patient that overdoses on antacids than contain bicarbonate may develop:

metabolic alkalosis

Rationale:

The measurement of the acidity or alkalinity of the blood is:

pH

Rationale:

When interpreting an arterial blood gas (ABG), the three steps to follow are to examine the:

pH, CO2, and HCO3

Rationale:

When a patient has a pH less than 7.35 and a CO2 greater than 45, they are in:

respiratory acidosis

Rationale:

A patient that is having an anxiety attacks and is hyperventilating is at a high risk of developing:

respiratory alkalosis

Rationale:

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