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Arterial Blood Gas Sampling

D. Sprigings, J. C. Chambers
Published 2007 · Medicine

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______________________________________________________________________________________ Page 1 of 4 Arterial Blood Gas Sampling ___________________________________________________________________________ Audience All Respiratory Therapists in the Pulmonary Laboratories ___________________________________________________________________________ Purpose Obtaining a blood sample by arterial puncture, using aseptic technique, for analysis of PaO2, PCO2, pH, and oximetry measurements. ___________________________________________________________________________ Procedure The following is the correct way to obtain an arterial blood gas:  Upon completing documented instruction, and 5 supervised punctures, all Respiratory Therapists may perform arterial punctures in the Pulmonary Function Clinic under the order of a physician.  The brachial artery shall not be used for arterial puncture unless requested by the Practice Manager or Medical Director.  After the radial artery site is chosen, a modified Allen’s test will be used to determine if collateral circulation by the ulnar artery is adequate.  The Therapist that performs the arterial puncture will analyze the sample, input the patient information into the ABG database, and generate the report for the Medical Record. Simply put, the Therapist that draws the blood sample will personally follow through to the completion of the analysis and reporting of the results of that sample. This is to prevent any possible mixing of patients and subsequently the test results. Additionally the therapist will affix a patient label to the arterial blood gas syringe prior to obtaining sample.  Staff are expected to use Personal Protective Equipment while performing this procedure. This includes gloves, gowns and protective eyewear). Before performing an arterial puncture for blood gas analysis, the patient interview should be complete according to the policy for patient flow through the Pulmonary Function Clinic. Through this interview, all pertinent information should be gathered to ensure patient and therapist safety during this procedure. If the patient is on supplemental oxygen and a room air arterial blood gas is desired, the patient must be removed from the oxygen for 20 minutes prior to obtaining the blood. ______________________________________________________________________________ Indications The primary indication for arterial blood gas analysis is for the need to assess the patient’s respiratory or metabolic status.

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