PaCO2 Normal Range

The PaCO2 is the partial pressure of carbon dioxide in the arterial blood. The PaCO2 is often considered the respiratory parameter as it reflects the subject’s ventilatory ability – i.e their ability to ‘blow off’ carbon dioxide, which is a strong predictor of respiratory health and morbidity.

Carbon dioxide is produced as a result of all the metabolic processes, such as wiggling your toes, exercising your muscles during a leisurely jog, digesting a large meal, or simply sat quietly watching television. Carbon dioxide is at its highest concentration at the mitochondria where it is the end product of metabolism. Carbon dioxide follows a reverse path to oxygen down partial pressure gradients to the lungs.

Carbon Dioxide is a waste product, which must be removed from the body via the lungs during exhalation. It is transported to the lungs in a plasma solution in the form of a chemical called carbonic acid (H2CO3). This is an acidic solution; too much and the individual must breath harder to exhale more CO2 to maintain a normal blood pH, too little and the breathing depth and rate may reduce.

The normal values for PaCO2 are between 4.8kPa and 6.0 kPa.

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