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Arterial Blood Gas also known as ABG. ABG is used to assess the heart and lungs dysfunctions, acid-base imbalance in the body, if the oxygen is enough for the body. ABG are taken from patients that has abnormal acid-base imbalances, cardiopulmonary disorders, such as acute respiratory disorder, diabetic ketoacidosis, hypoxia, congenital heart defects, asthma, alkali ingestion, salicylate intoxication, emphysema, pneumonia, sepsis and shock.


Normal Findings:


Newborns: 7.32-7.49

Adults: 7.35-7.45


Newborns: 60-70 mm Hg

Adults: 75-100 mm Hg

pCO235-45 mm Hg


Newborns: 20-26 mEq/L

Adults: 22-26 mEq/L

O2 saturation: 96%-100%

Base excess: +1 to -2



pH: <7.2 or >7.6


Infants: <37 mm Hg or >92 mm g

Adults: <40 mm Hg

pCO2<20 mm Hg or >70 mm g

HCO3: <10 mEq/L or >40 mEq/L

Osaturation: <60%


If the patient has extreme abnormal results from the ABG, administer nursing intervention and also report to attending physician right away, they need immediate critical care management.

Identify correct patient's name. Explain procedure to patient and assess his understanding. Inform patient that they will draw specimen on radial site and might cause pain if a local anesthetic is not available.

Before the test, take patient's temperature. Assess patient's circulation to the wrist and hand before the radial part (area below the thumb) of the hand. Place patient's hand facing up on a pillow, and instruct patient to spread fingers downward. The nurse or pathologist can choose to put an anesthesia if it is available.

Apply pressure on puncture site with sterile gauze to stop bleeding. Keep pressure for 5 minutes. Label test tube with patient's name, time the specimen is collected, temperature of the patient and if patient is breathing room air, oxygen or is connected to ventilation. Fever, oxygen, and breathing can affect the results of the test. 

After test, Watch out for bleeding on puncture 5-10 minutes on the first 30 minutes and check for signs of nerve impairment directly above the puncture site. 

Advice patient that bruising, discomfort, and swelling may appear on puncture site. Apply warm compress to alleviate pain. May need assistance in handling infants and Children to remain still and or a mild sedation might be use to help calm down.


It is use to identify the acidity and alkaline state of the blood and urine to maintain the acid-base balance of our body, to aid in diagnosing a wide range of conditions, to help identify the therapeutic level of a treatment, and to monitor the effects and prognosis of a treatment.

Partial Oxygen (paO2)

Partial Oxygen It is use to evaluate pressure oxygen getting in the patient's body, and to distinguished how much oxygen is helping the patient. It also helps in diagnosing respiratory diseases, aids in maintaining the acid-base balance of the body and also an indication if our organs are functioning properly.

Partial Carbon Dioxide (paCO2)

It is use to measure how much carbon dioxide is being absorbed in the blood and to also evaluate the capacity of the carbon dioxide in coming out of the body.

Bicarbonate (HCO3)

Bicarbonate Is use to measure the acid-base balance of the body, find out electrolyte imbalances in the body, monitor certain diseases related to the acid-base balance and electrolytes of the body, and evaluate effectiveness of therapy for acid-balance and electrolyte disorders.

Oxygen Saturation (O2 Saturation)

It is use to measure the amount of oxygen in the blood. It is also an indication of diseases that need oxygen therapy.

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