Laboratory Test Information Guide

Details for Blood Gases

Test Name: Blood Gases
Alternate Name(s):  
Laboratory: Core (all sites)
Specimen Type: See Note in Interpretive Comments.
Collection Information: Samples that are clotted, have an insufficient amount, contain bubbles, are not received within 60 minutes of collection time, or are leaking will be canceled.

Syringes, minimum volume
Electrolyte-balanced heparin in blood gas syringes

Arterial, 3 mL
Venous, 3 mL
Capillary, completely filled 125 L
    o Mixing wire (flea), Caps, Glass Clinitube (heparinized)
    o Free-flowing sample, completely filled, air free, with sealed ends (caps tight)

Put small Cerner label on syringe and place in biohazard bag with large Cerner label in the outside pocket of the biohazard bag.

Transport for blood gas specimens:
Send specimens to the laboratory immediately at room temperature. Suggested transport time is 15 min. Do NOT freeze.
If specimens will not be received in lab within 30 mins, transport on ice slurry.

Special Processing:
Avoid air bubbles when collecting specimen. Air bubbles will falsely increase pO2 result.
Mix capillary blood with metal flea by running magnet up and down full length of the tube multiple times, to prevent clotting. Not mixing immediately will result in microclots formation that can affect results.
Test Schedule: As required
Turnaround time from when specimen
is received in testing laboratory:
30 minutes (Cord gases: 1 hour)
15 minutes
Reference Range: 

Age RangeArterial/CapillaryVenous
pHbirth-1 day7.29 - 7.457.32 - 7.42
2 days-adult7.35 - 7.457.32 - 7.42
pCO2birth - 2 days27 - 4038 - 50
2 days - adult35 - 4538 - 50
pO2birth - 2 days54 - 9530 - 50
2 days - adult83 - 10830 - 50
Base Excess (BE)(all)(-2) - 3(-2) - 3
O2 saturation, calculated(all)N/AN/A
Effective Date: 2016-05-04
Revised Date: 2016-05-04
Critical Value:  
Interpretive Comments: Venous pCO2 >45 is suggestive of arterial pCO2 >40 mmHg, which may be clinically important.
Special Processing:  
Critical LowCritical High
pO2 (arterial only)40
Method of Analysis: GEM Premier 4000 Blood Gas Analyzer
Amperometric: pO2
Potentiometric: pH, pCO2
Calculated parameters: O2 Saturation

Please note that the measured %saturation (sO2) overestimates oxygenation status in the presence of dyshemoglobins (carboxyHb & metHb) and may result greater than 100%.
Critical Information Required:  
Storage & Shipment:  Send all blood gas specimens to core laboratory at room temperature within 30 minutes
Store on ice slurry if delay in analysis or delivery longer than 30 minutes
Do not freeze

Please note that if the blood specimen was not received within the specified 30 minutes, some of the results may be affected.
System Codes: 
Referred To:  

Questions? Comments? Contact Laura Gopaul