The best ABG video

Please see the following video. It is a pretty good and quick way to read ABG’s.

Blood gases

Blood gases are a measurement of how much oxygen and carbon dioxide are in your blood. They also determine the acidity (pH) of your blood.

How the Test is Performed

Usually, blood is taken from an artery. In some cases, blood from a vein may be used.

Blood may be collected from one of the following arteries:

  • Radial artery in the wrist
  • Femoral artery in the groin
  • Brachial artery in the arm

The health care provider may test circulation to the hand before taking a sample of blood from the wrist area.

The health care provider will insert a small needle through the skin into the artery. The sample is quickly sent to a laboratory for analysis to ensure accurate results.

Risks

There is very little risk when the procedure is done correctly. Veins and arteries vary in size from one patient to another and from one side of the body to the other. Taking blood from some people may be more difficult than from others.

Other risks associated with this test may include:

  • Bleeding at the puncture site
  • Blood flow problems at puncture site (rare)
  • Bruising at the puncture site
  • Delayed bleeding at the puncture site
  • Fainting or feeling light-headed
  • Hematoma (blood accumulating under the skin)
  • Infection (a slight risk any time the skin is broken)

Alternative Names

Arterial blood gas analysis; ABG

References

Effros RM, Swenson ER. Acid-base balance. In: Mason RJ, Broaddus CV, Martin TR, et al. Murray & Nadel’s Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2010:chap 7.

Mayer AS, Maier LA. Evaluation of respiratory impairment and disability. In: Mason RJ, Murray JF, Broaddus VC, et al., eds. Murray and Nadel’s Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2010:chap 27.

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Anna C. RN, BSN, PHN

Anna C. RN, BSN, PHN
Clinical Nurse Instructor

Emergency Room Registered Nurse
Critical Care Transport Nurse
Clinical Nurse Instructor for LVN and BSN students

Anna began writing extra materials to help her BSN and LVN students with their studies. She takes the topics that the students are learning and expands on them to try to help with their understanding of the nursing process.

Her experience spans almost 30 years in nursing, starting as an LVN in 1993. She received her RN license in 1997. She has worked in Medical-Surgical, Telemetry, ICU and the ER. She found a passion in the ER and has stayed in this department for 30 years.

She is a clinical instructor for LVN and BSN students along with a critical care transport nurse.

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