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July 19, 1971

Peripheral Venous Blood Gases

JAMA. 1971;217(3):342. doi:10.1001/jama.1971.03190030066024

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To the Editor. —  In QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS (216:1042, 1971), the source of blood samples for blood gas studies was discussed by five correspondents. Arterialized venous blood and peripheral venous blood for blood gas studies were discussed. One of the correspondents, Dr. Peretz, indicated that he knew of no data on peripheral venous samples.Such information is reported by Gambino, Weisberg, and others. For some time we have run simultaneous peripheral venous specimens in conjunction with each arterial puncture specimen from patients, predominantly from our intensive and coronary care units. These data demonstrate that for acid-base studies peripheral venous specimens are completely adequate regardless of patient condition as to shock.We have found, as expected, that for blood oxygen values the arterial samples are far more consistent with clinical condition than are venous samples. However, we have also found that once venous levels of oxygen pressure (Po2) are