The results of a blood gas test can help your doctor diagnose various diseases or determine how well treatments are working for certain conditions, including lung diseases. It also shows whether or not your body is compensating for the imbalance.
Due to the potential for compensation in some values that will cause the correction of other values, it’s essential that the person interpreting the result be a trained healthcare provider with experience in blood gas interpretation.
The test measures:
Arterial blood pH, which indicates the amount of hydrogen ions in blood. A pH of less than 7.0 is called acidic, and a pH greater than 7.0 is called basic, or alkaline. A lower blood pH may indicate that your blood is more acidic and has higher carbon dioxide levels. A higher blood pH may indicate that your blood is more basic and has a higher bicarbonate level.
Bicarbonate, which is a chemical that helps prevent the pH of blood from becoming too acidic or too basic.
Partial pressure of oxygen, which is a measure of the pressure of oxygen dissolved in the blood. It determines how well oxygen is able to flow from the lungs into the blood.
Partial pressure of carbon dioxide, which is a measure of the pressure of carbon dioxide dissolved in the blood. It determines how well carbon dioxide is able to flow out of the body.
Oxygen saturation, which is a measure of the amount of oxygen being carried by the hemoglobin in the red blood cells.