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Review ::

    Ok...now it is time to review the three essential steps of ABG analysis!

    Number One!

    Determine if the client is demonstrating an acidotic (remember: pH less than 7.35) or alkalotic (pH greater than 7.45).

    Number Two!

    What is the 'primary problem'

    If the client is acidotic with a PaC02 greater than 45 mmHg it is RESPIRATORY

    If the client is acidotic with a HC03 less than 22 mEq/L it is METABOLIC!

    If the client is alkalotic with a PaC02 less than 35 mmHg it is RESPIRATORY!

    If the client is alkalotic with a HC03 greater than 26 mEq/L it is METABOLIC!

    Number Three!

    Is the client compensating?

    Are both components (HCO3 and PaCO2) shifting in the same direction? Up or down the continuum? Above or below the normal ranges? If this is noted, you know that the client’s buffering systems are functioning and are trying to bring the acid-base balance back to normal.

    Would you like to try some examples? Come on...let's give it a try!

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