The procedure enables the withdrawal of blood from a transduced indwelling arterial catheter for the means of analysing arterial blood gas values.



The procedure aims to provide guidance to the healthcare professional on how to safely withdraw blood from an arterial line to provide a sample for blood gas analysis via an analysing machine. Thereby, utilising a safe and clean technique without any undue stress or discomfort to the patient.

Arterial blood gases are measured to give an indication of pulmonary function (adequacy of ventilation and oxygenation) and metabolic function (the body’s ability to maintain acid base balance).

Patients with respiratory disease are at risk of inadequate lung ventilation and inadequate tissue oxygenation. Arterial blood gas sampling will provide information about lung ventilation through the interpretation of partial pressures of carbon dioxide and tissue oxygenation through the interpretation of partial pressures of oxygen.

Patients with certain metabolic diseases and selected drug overdoses are at risk of acid base abnormalities. Acid base problems are diagnosed through interpretation of arterial PH, partial pressure of carbon dioxide and bicarbonate levels (Urden et al 2010).

Blood gas sampling is routine practice in the intensive care unit (ICU), however the importance of its role in the direction of treatment must not be underestimated and unusual or vastly different values must not be acted upon in isolation.

Within this trust there are different types of indwelling arterial catheters available. This includes: Vygon- arterial leadercath, Venisystems- Abbocath, Arrow- arterial catheter and BD- Flow switch arterial cannula.


Policy Details

Download: PDF version
Compiled by: Esther-Louise Rogers, Deputy Sister ITU
Ratified by: Senior Nursing and Midwifery Leadership Committee
Date Ratified: May 2018
Date Issued: June 2018
Review Date: May 2021
Target Audience: All Intensive Care Clinical Staff
Contact name: Esther-Louise Rogers, Deputy Sister ITU


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