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Test & Collection Guide

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Blood Gases

Ordering information:

Please note that specimens for Arterial Blood Gas analysis CANNOT be collected at any of the Eastern Health Pathology Collection Rooms.  The requesting physician will need to organise arterial collection for outpatient requests.

Test Code:
Specimen types:
Heparinised syringe
Container types:
Heparinised SyringeHeparinised Syringe
Collection Instructions:

2mL Arterial blood in heparinised syringe.

Mix thoroughly, label 'urgent' and transport to laboratory immediately at room temperature

Result Turnaround Time:
30 minutes
Reference Interval:

Breathing room air- Arterial blood

pH                                      7.35-7.45                      

pCO2                                  34-45 mm Hg                        

pO2                                  83-108 mm Hg                       

Bicarbonate                 21-28 mmol/L             

Base excess                     -2.0 - +3.0 mmol/L

O2 saturation                    94-98 %

Carboxy Hb                       0.0-3.0 %

FOHb                             90.0-95.0 %

FMet Hb                            0.0-1.5 %

FH Hb                               1.0-5.0 %

Direct Na                           136-145 mmol/L

Direct K                              3.5-5.1 mmol/L

Direct Cl                             98-107 mmol/L

Ionized Calcium                 1.15-1.33 mmol/L

Lactate                              0.5-1.4 mmol/L

Glucose                             3.6-5.3 mmol/L

Haemoglobin (direct)   M 126-174 g/L    F 117-161 g/L

Laboratory Use Only
Storage Instructions:

Venous samples should be tested within 45 minutes of collection. 

Arterial specimens ASAP but no more than 30 minutes post collection

Syringes with needle still attached will not be accepted.

 Arterial blood collections must be performed only by trained staff.

 Only blood gas plus sodium, potassium, chloride, ionised calcium and haemogloin fractions can be performed on this specimen. A separate venepuncture must be obtained for other tests.

Pathology Handbook

Test & Collection Guide


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