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Flashcards in Arterial Blood Gas Deck (8)
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What is a positive allens test?

Good collateral circulation


When should a blood sample be kept in ice?

If it is going to take longer than 30 minutes to get analysed, this is to limit ongoing metabolism in the blood cells, otherwise it might result in an increased CO2, decreased pH and decreased PaO2. 


What are contraindications for arterial blood gas?

Presence of AV fistula on the arm

Cellulitis broken skin or other signs of infectoin

No palpable radial pulse

Negative allens test

Fractured limb


What are potential complications of arterial blood gas?


Fear and anxiety

Arterial spasm

Radial nerve damage

Embolus and thrombosis

Anaphylaxis to lidocaine



What equipment do you need for arterial blood gas?

Equipment List

  • Clean Tray
  • Heparinised ABG syringe kit
  • Gloves, unsterile
  • Apron (as needed)
  • Several alcohol swabs or alternative agent (as per local policy)
  • Sharps container
  • Cotton ball / gauze swab
  • Alcohol based hand gel
  • Hypoallergenic tape
  • Orange clinical waste bag


What do you need to do before performing hand hygiene?

Choose site

Check for contraindications

Check patient isn't allergic to LA

Gather and open equipment

Expel air from syringe


Perform hand hygiene


What should you do after performing hand hygiene?

Perform Allens test

Prep skin

Hand hygiene


What should you do after performing hand hygiene for the second time?

Apply gloves, prep finger of non-dominant hand for re-palpation of the artery


Ensure patient is comfortable

Take cap off needle

Extend patient's wrist approximately 30 degrees downward palm up

Enter needle (30 - 45 degree angle)

Fill syringe with 1-2 mls

Remove needle and apply pressure for 5 minutes

Apply protective shield over needle and discard

Place cap on syringe and expel all air bubble from the sample if there are any

Roll syringe