Test preparation

When assessing a patient’s resting baseline blood gas, it is important the patient is indeed, resting. That is, they are breathing as normally as possible, ensuring they:

  • Are comfortable
  • Relaxed and not hyperventilating
  • Fully recovered from any prior exertion

In a subject with COPD for example, they might need 20-30 minutes to stabilise following a short walk from the car park.

Before collecting a blood sample, your hands should be washed and gloves worn. Ensure all equipment is ready and the blood gas analyser is working and has completed the necessary calibrations and checks.

The application of a vasodilator cream to the earlobe increases blood flow through the arterioles and capillaries. The partial pressure of oxygen in the blood is then equal to that in the arteries delivering oxygen to the body. Remember the level of arterial oxygen is one of the primary indices we want to measure!

Mark as Understood

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