ABG troubles?


maire, ASN, RN

1,173 Posts

Specializes in Adult Med-Surg, Rehab, and Ambulatory Care. Has 18 years experience.

Thanks for the links!! :)


1,326 Posts

It took me a while to get the hang of it, but once you do you will find it really easy to understand.

What I do that helps me when answering these questions is I make up a little table and list each thing to consider, ie. pH, CO2, CHO3 and then next to them put the normal values. Then I right in the values given in the problem and make remarks like Acidosis, Alkalosis.


pH 7.35-7.45 7.24 Acid

CO2 35-45 48 Acid

CHO3 22-28 25 Normal

Then I look at everything and say, ok, pH is Acidosis so that's half of the problem right there. Then I see that the CO2 is out of range and Acidic and thus verifies that the pH is Acidosis. The CHO3 is normal so we know that the CO2 is causing the problem. Therefore it's Respiratory Acidosis.

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