Arterial Blood Gases
How It Is Done
A sample of blood from an artery is usually taken from the inside of the wrist (radial artery), but it can also be taken from an artery in the groin (femoral artery) or on the inside of the arm above the elbow crease (brachial artery). You will be seated with your arm extended and your wrist resting on a small pillow. The health professional drawing the blood may rotate your hand back and forth and feel for a pulse in your wrist.
A procedure called the Reference Allen test may be done to ensure that blood flow to your hand is normal. An arterial blood gas (ABG) test will not be done on an arm used for Reference dialysis Opens New Window or if there is an infection or inflammation in the area of the puncture site.
The health professional taking a sample of your blood will:
- Clean the needle site with alcohol. You may be given an injection of Reference local anesthetic Opens New Window to numb that area.
- Put the needle into the artery. More than one needle stick may be needed.
- Allow the blood to fill the syringe. Be sure to breathe normally while your blood is being collected.
- Put a gauze pad or cotton ball over the needle site as the needle is removed.
- Put a bandage over the puncture site and apply firm pressure for 5 to 10 minutes (possibly longer if you take blood-thinning medicine or have bleeding problems).
|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