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ABG test results
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ABG test results

Could you please explain what these arterial blood gas test results mean?

PO2     = 69
PCO2  =  67mmHg  
HCO3-  =  33mEq/litre
pH         =   7.23
SaO2   =   81
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These are grossly abnormal values.  They are consistent with marked acute and chronic respiratory failure in a person on supplemental oxygen.  Without supplemental oxygen, it is not possible to have an oxygen level (p02) of 69 and a carbon dioxide level (pC02) of 67.  If not on oxygen, one or more of the values is incorrect.  A low pH can reduce oxygen saturation (SaO2), but seldom this much with a p02 of 69.  Elevated carbon monoxide (CO) levels can also markedly reduce the Sa02.

The pC02, pH and Sa02, shown here, constitute a medical emergency.
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