Interpretation of arterial blood gases
AbstractMeasuring arterial blood gas is routinely performed in critically ill patients, and may unravel severe life-threatening acid-base disorders or hypoxemia. It provides the vital information about ventilation, oxygenation, and acid-base status in such persons. These three processes are intimately related to each other in achieving normal oxygenation and acid-balance in the body.
The interpretation of arterial blood gas requires a reasonable understanding of respiratory physiology and acid-base balance in the body. Hence, in the following section, first the role of alveolar ventilation, oxygenation, and the maintenance of acid-base homeostasis have been discussed. This is followed by a step-wise approach to analyze the acid-base disorders, if present.
Pulse Vol.3(1) July 2009 p15-19