rterial blood gases (ABGs) are measured by taking blood from an artery, not a vein. This is to determine the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood, as well as the acidity of the blood shortly after leaving the heart. ABGs are taken to assess the oxygen capacity of the lungs, the oxygen pressure in the blood, respiratory adequacy and acid-base balance.
To help you as you learn ABG interpretation, we've scouted some great internet resources you can use to supplement your studies:
This site, developed by Nurse George, features a very easy-to-understand, friendly tutorial which will give you a basic understanding of arterial blood gas interpretation and acid-base balance. Also included is a section on cardiac drugs and an online ABG quiz.
The online Blood Gases Manual is quite a comprehensive resource. It covers why ABGs are done (and why not), how they are done, the physiology of gas exchange, assessing lung function, acid-base physiology and clinical acid-base disturbances.