ABG Cheat Sheet

1. First and Last Name = pH (7.35-7.45)

2. Last Name: < 7.35 = Acidosis > 7.45 = Alkalosis 7.40 is the exact normal

3. First Name: 7.35-7.45 = Compensated < 7.35 or > 7.45 = Uncompensated

4. Middle Name: CO2 (35-45) and/or HCO3 (22-26)

a. Respiratory Acidosis: CO2 > 45

b. Respiratory Alkalosis: CO2 < 35

c. Metabolic Acidosis: HCO3 <22

d. Metabolic Alkalosis: HCO3 > 26

e. If both are abnormal: You have both types of imbalances (mixed)

5. Remember: pH and HCO3 are cousins--they go in the same direction for Acidosis and Alkalosis

6. But CO2 is an outsider--it goes the opposite direction for Acidosis and Alkalosis

7. More tips:

a. Abnormal pH and CO2 in opposite directions = respiratory problem

b. Abnormal pH and HCO3 in the same direction = metabolic problem

c. HCO3 and CO2 in the same direction = trying to compensate for abnormal pH

d. HCO3 and CO2 in opposite directions = both imbalances (mixed)