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Your guide to blood gas analysis

Six videos to guide you through blood gas analysis

Blood gas analysis provides information on a critically ill patient’s respiratory and metabolic status via measurement of pH, carbon dioxide (pCO2) and oxygen (pO2) together with other vital information such as electrolytes, lactate and hemoglobin.


Through three educational videos, you’ll experience why blood gas analysis is important in three critical patient cases covering COPD, intoxication and sepsis.


Further, a set of three how-to videos will guide you in performing an arterial puncture, understanding the acid-base balance in the blood and to reading the blood gas report.



Blood gas analysis in three critical patient cases

Case 1:


The COPD patient

(4:45) A Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) patient arrives at the emergency department with decreased consciousness and forced respiration. Obviously, immediate action is required, but what is causing the condition?


Case 2:

Case 3:

The intoxicated boy

(4:19) A 6-year old boy is brought to the emergency department with incoherent speech, forced respiration, decreased level of consciousness and a smell of alcohol on his breath. Is he suffering from a kidney failure or is this a case of intoxication?

The septic patient

(3:51) A 60-year old woman arrives at the emergency department with suspected sepsis. Blood gas analysis shows that she suffers from metabolic acidosis and her x-ray indicates pneumonia. She doesn’t respond to antibiotic treatment.



How-to videos on blood gas analysis

How to perform an arterial puncture

(4:00) It is important to perform the arterial puncture in the correct way in order to prevent pre-analytical errors that can lead to incorrect results. This video gives you an example of how to perform an arterial puncture correctly.

Understanding the acid-base balance

(5:49) Diseases, intoxication, injuries and other disorders can threaten the acid-base balance in the body. This video explains how the lungs and the kidneys help maintain the pH level in the blood to obtain homeostasis and how the calculation of the Anion Gap can be an important step in identifying the cause of metabolic acidosis.

Reading the blood gas report using Tic-Tac-Toe

(5:00) After measurement of an arterial blood sample on an ABL blood gas analyser, you receive a patient report. The pH-level, the pCO2 and the concentration of bicarbonate are relevant to determine whether a patient is suffering from respiratory or metabolic acidosis or respiratory or metabolic alkalosis. This video teaches you a clever way to interpret these results using a simple method we call Tic-Tac-Toe.





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Scientific articles on blood gas testing



Useful tips to avoid preanalytical errors in blood gas testing: pH, pCO2 and pO2

By Chris Higgins



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