Be cautious during the interpretation of arterial blood gas analysis performed outside the intensive care unit
Introduction. Reliable results of an arterial blood gas (ABG) analysis are crucial for the implementation of appropriate diagnostics and therapy. We aimed to investigate the differences (Δ) between ABG parameters obtained from point-of-care testing (POCT) and central laboratory (CL) measurements, taking into account the turnaround time (TAT). Materials and methods. A number of 208 paired samples were collected from 54 intensive care unit (ICU) patients. Analyses were performed using Siemens RAPIDPoint 500 Blood Gas System on the samples just after blood retrieval at the ICU and after delivery to the CL. Results. The median TAT was 56 minutes (IQR 39-74). Differences were found for all ABG parameters. Median Δs for acid-base balance ere: ΔpH=0.006 (IQR –0.0070–0.0195), ΔBEef=–0.9 (IQR –2.0–0.4) and HCO3–act=–1.05 (IQR –2.25–0.35). For ventilatory parameters they were: ΔpO2=–8.3 mmHg (IQR –20.9–0.8) and ΔpCO2=–2.2 mmHg (IQR –4.2––0.4). For electrolytes balance the differences were: ΔNa+=1.55 mM/L (IQR 0.10–2.85), ΔK+=–0.120 mM/L (IQR –0.295–0.135) and ΔCl–=1.0 mM/L (IQR –1.0–3.0). Although the Δs might have caused misdiagnosis in 51 samples, Bland-Altman analysis revealed that only for pO2 the difference was of clinical significance (mean: –10.1 mmHg, ±1.96SD –58.5; +38.3). There was an important correlation between TAT and ΔpH (R=0.45, p<0.01) with the safest time delay for proper assessment being less than 39 minutes. Conclusions. Differences between POCT and CL results in ABG analysis may be clinically important and cause misdiagnosis, especially for pO2. POCT should be advised for ABG analysis due to the impact of TAT, which seems to be the most important for the analysis of pH.
Copyright (c) 2020 Lukasz Krzych, Olga Wojnarowicz, Paweł Ignacy, Julia Dorniak
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