Why would a doctor order an arterial blood gas test? Does an electrolyte panel with total carbon dioxide from a vein give the same results? And what is the difference in testing from an artery versus a vein?
Why do physicians order for an arterial blood gas (ABG)? Allow me to cite this url http://www.healthline.com/galecontent/blood-gas-analysis:
"An ABG analysis evaluates how effectively the lungs are delivering oxygen to the blood and how efficiently they are eliminating carbon dioxide from it. The test also indicates how well the lungs and kidneys are interacting to maintain normal blood pH (acid-base balance). Blood gas studies are usually done to assess respiratory disease and other conditions that may affect the lungs, and to manage patients receiving oxygen therapy (respiratory therapy). In addition, the acid-base component of the test provides information on kidney function."
Here are the elements that one can derive from an ABG:
partial pressure of oxygen (PaO2): 75–100 mm Hg
partial pressure of carbon dioxide (PaCO2): 35–45 mm Hg
oxygen content (O2CT): 15–23%
oxygen saturation (SaO2): 94–100%
bicarbonate (HCO3): 22–26 mEq/liter
As for the difference between venous blood gas(VBG) and arterial blood gas, the oxygen saturation will be definitely higher in the arterial blood gas. However, in other elements it has been shown in studying patients with chronic obstructive lung disease that "VBG analysis can reliably predict the ABG values of pH, PCO2 and HCO3 in patients with chronic obstructive lung disease."
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