homework help with ABG interpetation

  1. Hey I have a take home test and this one is driving me crazy, the teacher said we could work on these togather but me being as anal as I am must have most of it done before I go study with everyone else, and since I was a Resp therapist (almost 18 yrs ago) they expect me to know all these I NEED HELP !!!!!!

    The nurse receives a report of ABGs on one of her clients. The pH is 7.4: PaCO2 is 55mmHg and, HCO3- is 20mmHg these values would indicate
    a) erroneous blood gas data
    b) mixed acid-base disorder
    c) metabolic alkalosis
    d) respiratory alkalosis

    I am thinking that this would be an A but I have done nothing for the last 3 weeks but take test after test and frankly between that and my brother being injured in Iraq I am not sure I have a mind left anymore and this question has just about put me over the edge and I still haave 2 test to take on Tuesday and Wednesday so any help and reasoning for the answer I would be very thankful for
    Rhonda
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   Carolanne
    http://www.manuelsweb.com/abg.htm

    Check out this website - it's wonderful. You punch in the values you have and it interprets it for you. I know it's a lazy shortcut, but if you see why the numbers result in respiratory acidosis, etc., it really does help.
  4. by   Rhoresmith
    Quote from Carolanne
    http://www.manuelsweb.com/abg.htm

    Check out this website - it's wonderful. You punch in the values you have and it interprets it for you. I know it's a lazy shortcut, but if you see why the numbers result in respiratory acidosis, etc., it really does help.

    thank you !!!!
  5. by   Tweety
    I'm not the worlds best interpreter, but is seems like combined respiratory and metablolic acidosis. Which isn't one of your options. So it could then be "a". I'm not much help. Let me know what you guys come up with.

    Sorry about your brother, hope he heals quickly.

    Thanks for the website Carolanne.
  6. by   jaimealmostRN
    Hey, I was just studying this so I had to respond. I think you are right, the answer is A, b/c this doesn't make sense. It's saying that the pt. is in both R. acidosis and M. acidosis which doesn't happen (correct me if I'm wrong everyone). If the pH is WNL and both the PCO2 and HCO3 is off then it's compensated. Then it would ususally show that the PCO2 is R.acid and the HCO3 is M. ALK (or some other opposite). As far as I know they have to be opposite if it is compensated as in this problem. Does that make sense? This is how I remember it.

    pH 7.35-7.45 (under 7.35 is acidic, over 7.45 is alk.)
    PCO2 35-45 (<35= R.alk., >45=R.acid)
    HCO3 22-26 (<22=M.acid, >26=M.alk)

    Whew, I'm sooo ready for this semester to be over!!! Good luck on exams everyone!!!!

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