ABG - Arterial Blood Gases

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Old 10-Oct-2010
ABG - Arterial Blood Gases

Arterial Blood Gas

Overview of Arterial Blood Gas Sample Technique

  • Blood is drawn anaerobically from a peripheral artery (radial, brachial, femoral, or dorsalis pedis) via a single percutaneous needle puncture, or from an indwelling arterial cannula or catheter for multiple samples.
  • Either method provides a blood specimen for direct measurement of partial pressures of carbon dioxide (PaCO2) and oxygen (PaO2), hydrogen ion activity (pH), total hemoglobin (Hb-total), oxyhemoglobin saturation (HbO2), and the dyshemoglobins carboxyhemoglobin (COHb) and methemoglobin (MetHb).

Sample Collection Methods

The following general guidelines should be adhered to when obtaining an Arterial Blood Gas sample:
  1. Collection should be accomplished with care to minimize patient anxiety
  2. Collection should be done after first ascertaining satisfactory Allen's test.
  3. Collection should be done using suitable aseptic technique. Universal Precautions as published by the Centers for Disease Control and by directives issued by the Department of Labor concerning occupational exposure to blood-borne pathogens must be applied in all circumstances involving blood or blood contaminated collection devices.
  4. Aseptic technique must be employed whenever blood is sampled from an indwelling arterial catheter
  5. Prior to a single puncture, the site should be cleaned. Some hospitals require Povidine Iodine before alcohol cleansing of the site. Others require only alcohol cleansing of the site.
  6. Blood specimens, contaminated needles, and syringes must be disposed of in appropriate containers.
  7. Needles used for blood sampling should be re-sheathed only with a technique that utilizes a one-hand device or by careful insertion into a cork, rubber plug, or similar device that prevents the sharp point from being accessible.
  8. The needle should be removed from the syringe and the syringe capped with a stopper provided in the ABG sampling kit. It is essential to "roll the syringe" in order to adequately mix the dry heparin with the blood.
  9. While gloves provide little protection from needle punctures, the gloves should be worn to prevent splashing of blood on sores or other skin breaks.

Old 12-Mar-2011
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