Gasometry is a medical test that is responsible for measuring the levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood, it is also capable of measuring the pH in the blood. It is a frequent examination in hospitals and emergencies.
What is blood gas analysis?
There are two types of blood gas, each with a different purpose, these are:
1. Venous blood gas:
The venous blood gases consist of samples collect blood of any vein for analysis, although this test is not very useful to know actually as oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood (due to blood veins will always be more dioxide carbon than oxygen), it is very useful to know the pH level in the blood.
2. Arterial blood gas:
The ABG is collecting blood sample from an artery, the most common is the wrist. It is a bit painful but it is the one that, after the analysis, will tell more accurately how much oxygen passes from the lungs to the blood, thus diagnosing respiratory failure.
This test helps to identify the effectiveness of oxygen therapy, provides information about metabolism. It reveals important data about the functioning of the lungs and kidneys by indicating the levels of acid-base balance in the body.
How to prepare for blood gases?
This exam does not require specific preparation, however, if there are certain provisions to take into account, for example:
· If you are receiving oxygen therapy, it is important that it is provided until the time of the exam.
· If you are taking anticoagulant medications (acetylsalicylic acid) it is necessary to tell your doctor so that they take it into account.
· The duration of the extraction is generally very short.
· It is not necessary to enter the patient, but if the extraction is carried out in a hospital environment, where the implements and adequate hygiene are available.
· It is not necessary to be accompanied.
· Because the results of this test are not altered by food intake, it is irrelevant if you eat hours before extraction.
· It does not merit a specific wardrobe either, but it is advisable to wear sleeveless shirts to ease up on extraction.
· If you are pregnant there is no risk, even so it is advisable to mention it to the doctor since the extraction could be slightly different.
· There are no contraindications.
· Avoid smoking before taking the test.
What can go wrong with a blood gas test?
This is an exam that is not risky at all, but there are some mishaps that, although not serious, could arise such as:
· An infection.
· A bruise.
· A bruise where the needle entered.
· A blood flow problem at the extraction site.
· Bleeding at the puncture site.
· A faint.
· An unsuccessful blood gas test, the latter happens very often and consists in not being able to extract blood in the first puncture and the process has to be repeated.
When to have a blood gas test?
In general, gasometry is usually performed in patients with respiratory failure or who are undergoing oxygen therapy treatments to assess progress, it is very common because it is the least invasive for the patient. Even so, there are situations that warrant a blood gas analysis, thanks to the fact that it provides a lot of useful information to be able to have a specific diagnosis:
Because when the person breathes agitatedly and very quickly, the body usually exports much more carbon dioxide than it should, and consequently very little of it remains in the blood, this generates irregularities in the pH and with the calcium level. metabolism, for this a blood gas is done to attack the problem.
Although respiratory failure is notorious in the patient, the only test that will give a specific diagnosis is blood gas, therefore, to be completely sure that this is the disease that the patient has, blood gas is performed.
It is important that you consult all your doubts with the doctor, since being relaxed at the time of a blood gas will help a lot in the process.
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