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Professional Nursing (NURS 333) ABG Analysis

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John Marsh
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Minnesota State University-Mankato

Professional Nursing (NURS 333)

ABG analysis

ABG analysis
Key components
These components all have different normal values and represent different aspects of the blood
gas.
 pH: 7.35-7.45
 Partial pressure of carbon dioxide (PaCO2): 35-45 mmHg
 Bicarbonate (HCO3): 22-28 mEq/L
How to Interpret an ABG
The first value a nurse should look at is the pH to determine if the patient is in normal range,
above, or below. If a patient’s pH > 7.45, the patient is alkalotic. If the pH < 7.35, then the
patient is acidotic.
Next, examine the PaCO2. This will determine if the changes in the blood gas are due to the
respiratory system or metabolically driven.
Below is a chart that contains the different values and factors that determine if the patient is
suffering from a respiratory or a metabolic component. Remember, CO2 is the ACID
component, HCO3 is the BICARB component. They compensate for each other!

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Professional Nursing (NURS 333) ABG Analysis

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