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ABG Interpretation
ABG Interpretation

Respiratory Acidosis



Respiratory acidosis is a process by which reduced effective ventilation results in carbon dioxide retention.
  • Look for

  • Reduced pH (acidaemia) with increased PaCOâ‚‚.
  • Expected Compensation in Acute Respiratory Acidosis

  • 1mmol/L [HCO₃] increase for every 10mmHg PaCOâ‚‚ above 40mmHg
  • Expected Compensation in Chronic Respiratory Acidosis

  • 4mmol/L [HCO₃] increase for every 10mmHg PaCOâ‚‚ above 40mmHg
  • Causes of Respiratory Acidosis

  • Hypoventilation - drugs, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, obstructive sleep apnoea, encephalopathy, neuromuscular disease, chest wall abnormalities
  • Dead space ventilation - emphysema
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