ABG Interpretation Example 1

If you need to review the basics of abg interpretation refer to these steps

  • pH 7.28
  • Pco2 57
  • Bicarb 23
  • Po2 72
  • Spo2 94
  1. Look a pH- is it normal? No, it is not so it is uncompensated. The pH is low so it is an acidosis.
  2. Look at PCO2, is it normal? No is not, it is a respiratory issue
  3. Look at the bicarb is it normal? Yes
  4. Look at the PO2 is it normal ? No it isn’t, it is hypoxemia is present

Putting the individual results from above together the final analysis is uncompensated respiratory acidosis with hypoxemia.

During the TMC and clinical simulation exams an example similar to this could be used as part of the scenario. The first question you need to ask is the patient ventilating? Since this patient has uncompensated respiratory acidosis they are not ventilating. Ventilation is necessary for survival so this must be addressed first. If there are no options to address ventilation then we would move on to oxygenation