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ABG Interpretation

Respiratory Acidosis

March 4th, 2023


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

  • Reduced pH (acidaemia) with increased PaCO₂.
  • Expected Compensation in Acute Respiratory Acidosis

  • 1mmol/L [HCO₃] increase for every 10mmHg PaCO₂ above 40mmHg
  • Expected Compensation in Chronic Respiratory Acidosis

  • 4mmol/L [HCO₃] increase for every 10mmHg PaCO₂ 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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Snapshot: Initialising...