Acid Base Balance / Blood Gas Testing - Lesson 1
Chemistry Course Overview

Arterial Blood Gas Samples


For blood gases and pH the sample should be arterial or arterialized capillary blood collected in heparinized containers. All air bubbles should be removed and the container kept tightly stoppered. The sample should be mixed well with correct amount of heparin, properly identified and placed in ice water until analysis (unless analyzed immediately). Syringes with lyophilized heparin are available but must have adequate amount of blood added to maintain the correct blood to anticoagulant ratio. Note how normal venous blood (on the left) is darker red than normal arterial blood (on the right) in appearance.

External Activity 2 Go to the Assignment area in Blackboard to read the protocol for arterial blood collection.