Arterial Blood Gases

Arterial blood gas is a test to look for gases in the blood.

  • Call Your Doctor


    After the test, call your doctor if any of the following occurs:

    • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
    • Bleeding or severe bruising
    • Weakness, tingling, or numbness of an extremity

    In case of an emergency, call for medical help right away.

  • Definition

    Arterial blood gas is a test to look for gases in the blood.

    The Arteries
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  • What to Expect

  • Reasons for Test

    This test determines the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide dissolved in the blood, as well as the acid/base status. Oxygen and carbon dioxide levels are indicators of lung function. The acid/base status provides information on how well the lungs and kidneys are functioning. It can also give information as to whether there is a problem in the body, like an infection, that is throwing off the acid/base balance in the body.


    If you are undergoing
    oxygen therapy, this test can help to see if the therapy is effective.

  • Possible Complications


    Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have an arterial blood gases test, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:

    • Bleeding
    • Bruising
    • Injury to the artery

    Be sure to discuss these risks with your doctor before the test.