ABG Interpretation : Nursing Course


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

respiratory acidosis

Rationale: Acidosis is caused by an accumulation of CO2 in the body, which accumulates with water and forms carbonic acid, which lowers the pH of the blood. Respiratory acidosis can occur with any condition that causes hypoventilation, such as head injuries, pulmonary disorders, or pulmonary embolisms. When a patient is in respiratory acidosis, their signs and symptoms are centered around the pulmonary, nervous, and cardiovascular symptoms. This includes respiratory distress, headaches, drowsiness, and increased heart rate. Respiratory acidosis is corrected by increased ventilation, either through mechanical ventilation or supplemental oxygen.


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 normal range for carbon dioxide in the blood is:

34-45 mm Hg

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:

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

respiratory alkalosis

Rationale:

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:

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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