Arterial Blood Gases
What To Think About
- Arterial blood gas (ABG) values alone don't provide enough information to diagnose a problem. For example, they can't tell whether low levels are caused by lung or heart problems. Arterial blood gas values are most helpful when they are reviewed with other examinations and tests.
- An ABG test is often done for a person who is in the hospital because of severe injury or illness. The test can measure how well the person's lungs and kidneys are working and how well the body is using energy.
- An ABG test may be most useful when a person's breathing rate is increased or decreased or when the person has very high blood sugar (glucose) levels, a severe infection, or Reference heart failure Opens New Window.
- If several blood samples are needed, a thin tube (arterial catheter) may be placed in an artery. Blood can then be collected when needed.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference May 30, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Robert L. Cowie, MB, FCP(SA), MD, MSc, MFOM - Pulmonology