February 21, 1966

The Simplicity and Safety of Arterial Puncture

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, University of Colorado Medical Center and School of Medicine, and the Webb-Waring Institute for Medical Research, Denver. Drs. Bigelow and Levine are fellows in pulmonary disease of the American Thoracic Society.

JAMA. 1966;195(8):693-695. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100080133047

A KNOWLEDGE of the arterial pH carbon dioxide tension (PCO2) and oxygen tension (PO2) is highly desirable and at times imperative in the diagnosis of respiratory insufficiency during the use of oxygen therapy in the management of hypoxic states and during continuous ventilatory assistance in respiratory failure.1-3

The availability of modern electrode methods for the measurement of pH, PCO2, and PO24 -7 and the Astrup tonometric method for PCO28 have made blood gas and pH analyses relatively simple to perform. Despite this fact, numerous recent reports stress indirect methods of estimating arterial pH, PCO2, and PO2. Analysis of arterialized earlobe blood9,10 or "arterialized" venous blood1 has been recommended. Estimation of the PCO2 by using collection of expired air has also been described.11,12

The most frequently cited reasons for use of other than arterial blood to learn

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