[When is a venous blood gas analysis sufficient in the emergency department?]
SourceNederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde, 161, 0, (2017), pp. D785
Article / Letter to editor
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Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde
SubjectRadboudumc 18: Healthcare improvement science RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 5: Inflammatory diseases RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
Blood gas analysis plays an important role in the initial assessment of a patient in the emergency ward. We present three different patient cases to illustrate when to opt for a venous or an arterial blood gas analysis. Arterial punctures are more painful and carry a higher risk of complications compared to venous punctures. It is possible to use a venous blood gas to screen for acute acid/base disturbances. Ventilatory compensation or anion gap cannot be calculated reliably with a venous blood gas. On the other hand, the diagnosis diabetic keto-acidosis can be made with a venous blood gas; this mode of sampling can also be used for lactate measurement at the emergency department as an independent prognostic marker for mortality. Venous blood gas analyses are not able to assess oxygenation. Pulse oximetry is a non-invasive alternative for arterial blood gas sampling. The use of a venous blood gas to assess a patient's ventilation is limited, whereas it can be used to diagnose carbomonoxide intoxication or methaemoglobinaemia.
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