Top of the page
An arterial blood gases (ABG) test is a blood test. It measures the acid-base balance (pH) and the levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood. It uses blood drawn from an artery. This is where the levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide can be measured before they enter body tissues.
An arterial blood gases test is done to check for severe breathing and lung problems. The test also checks how well treatments for lung problems are working. And the test can look for changes in how well your lungs, heart, or kidneys are working.
A health professional uses a needle to take a blood sample. It's usually taken from the inside of the wrist. But it can also be taken from an artery in the groin or on the inside of the arm above the elbow crease.
Collecting blood from an artery is more painful than collecting it from a vein. That's because the arteries are deeper and are surrounded by nerves.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to keep a list of the medicines you take. Ask your doctor when you can expect to have your test results.
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter P940 in the search box to learn more about "Arterial Blood Gases (ABG) Test: About This Test".
Adaptation Date: 3/2/2022
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 2006-2022 Healthwise, Incorporated. All rights reserved. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.