ABG Interpretation : Nursing Course


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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.


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

metabolic acidosis

Rationale: Metabolic acidosis occurs when a patient has a pH less than 7.35, and a bicarbonate level less than 22. This occurs when there is an excess amount of acids in the body, other than CO2. This is commonly seen in diabetic ketoacidosis, renal failure, and salicylate intoxication. Symptoms of metabolic acidosis are headache, restlessness, and cardiac dysrhythmia's. Kussmauls respirations are often present, as the body is attempting to compensate for the low pH by blowing off more CO2. The treatment for metabolic acidosis is dependent on the cause, but should focus on restoring the tissue perfusion to the hypoxic tissue.


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

respiratory alkalosis

Rationale:

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

metabolic alkalosis

Rationale:

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

bicarbonate (HCO3)

Rationale:

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

pH

Rationale:

The normal range for carbon dioxide in the blood is:

34-45 mm Hg

Rationale:

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

compensate

Rationale:

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

respiratory acidosis

Rationale:

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

pH, CO2, and HCO3

Rationale:

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