Applications of Biochemistry

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Blood Gas Analysis at the Core Laboratory at University Hospital, London, Ontario.

Blood is one of the most important fluids in the human body. It helps carry nutrients such as oxygen to the cells in the body and transports out wastes like carbon dioxide and other metabolites from these cells. Since blood is the medium through which the different organs and tissues in our body communicates, keeping a close eye on the constituents of a blood sample would provide a good indication of the functioning of the human body. Blood gas tests are ordered for patients who might have symptoms of pH imbalance, extreme levels of oxygen/ carbon dioxide, or in order to evaluate the functioning of organs such as the kidneys and the presence of disorders such as diabetes. The latter tests are measured through the analysis of electrolytes and metabolites in the blood. Patients who are on a “ventilator” in a hospital may have their treatment procedures also monitored using a blood gas analysis test. In the Core Laboratory of University Hospital in London, Ontario, the Gem Premiere 3000 Blood Gas Analyzer is used in order to perform tests on patients. There are two analyzers present in this laboratory. Both machines can run tests for levels of pH, partial pressure of carbon dioxide, partial pressure of oxygen, Na+, K+, Ca++, and hematocrit (Hct). One of the machines however, is also capable of running glucose and lactate tests as well. One other final blood constituent that is also analyzed in this analyzer is for carboxyhemoglobin. If a sample is to be tested for carboxyhemoglobin, the sample must be injected from the syringe into the GEM cuvette. The cuvette is then inserted into another analyzer in order to test carboxyhemoglobin levels. The samples collected for blood gas analysis tests can be arterial, venous, or capillary blood. Reference ranges for the electrolytes and metabolites measured using this instrument are as follows: | Range|

pH| 7.35 – 7.45|
pCO2...
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