Blood is your body’s delivery service. It brings oxygen and nutrients to different parts of the body and carries away the carbon dioxide that the body produces. Once the blood has run out of oxygen, it travels to your lungs where the carbon dioxide is filtered out and fresh oxygen is picked up. Then the blood cycles through the body again.

An arterial blood gas (ABG) analysis is a special test that can help determine how well your lungs are working. It measures the oxygen content and saturation of your blood, the pressure of oxygen and carbon dioxide dissolved in your blood, and your blood acidity. Combined, these factors can tell your doctor how well your lungs are moving oxygen into your blood and how well carbon dioxide is being moved out.

What makes this type of test unique from normal bloodwork is that the blood is drawn from an artery instead of a vein. This means that the blood being tested has just left your lungs and hasn’t traveled through the rest of the body yet.

When ABG analysis is needed

An ABG analysis is commonly performed to check for severe respiratory problems, or to see whether treatments for those issues are working. These conditions could include asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or cystic fibrosis. However, ABG analyses are also effective for measuring the blood acidity of people who are dealing with other health issues, such as:

  • Heart failure
  • Kidney failure
  • Severe infections
  • Sleep disorders
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Drug overdose

An arterial blood gas analysis is not enough to diagnose a problem by itself, so this type of test is often done in combination with other tests.

Specialized respiratory care in Central Oregon

At St. Charles Health System, we believe that the road to recovery begins with understanding. That means using the right combination of tests at the right time to get a proper diagnosis. Our expert physicians and staff are thoroughly experienced with performing and analyzing ABG tests, so they know how to get the most out of this critical tool.

If you’re struggling with chronic respiratory problems, call St. Charles Respiratory Care today at 541-706-5860 to schedule an appointment with a pulmonary specialist.

St. Charles Respiratory Care offers a wide variety of tests and treatments for respiratory patients, including arterial blood gas analysis.