MLAB 2401- Clinical Chemistry Lab Manual
UNIT:pH and Blood Gases
To become acquainted with theory and methods of measuring pH and blood gases.
Upon completion of this exercise, the student will be able to:1.Review classroom notes on pH, Henderson-Hasselbach equation, normal values andexpected ratios, and pH electrodes.2.
Discuss the basic principles involved in pH, pO and pCO determinations on whole blood.3.Interpret the basic clinical significance of blood gas values.4.Discuss the basic theory behind operation of the pH electrode.5.Discuss the operation of the pH meter and the blood gas machine.
Determination of blood gases enables the evaluation of a patient's acid-base balance. Blood gasinstruments in the laboratory are designed to measure the partial pressures of carbon dioxide
(pCO) and of oxygen (pO) as well as blood pH. Specialized electrodes designed for each gasdetermination are placed within the instrument so that one small blood sample suffices for allmeasurements.
After measuring pH and pCO directly, it is possible to obtain bicarbonate and CO content values
by calculation or with the use of a nomograph. From a direct measurement of pH and pO, bloodoxygen % saturation can be determined.
carbonic acid-bicarbonate buffer system
is the most important buffer system in the regulationof hydrogen ion balance in the body. In plasma, the relationship between pH and the bicarbonate-carbonic acid buffer system is expressed by the
:With this mathematical expression of the relationship between the
, it is possible to calculate pH.
The ratio of HCO (salt) to HCO (acid) is normally 20:1. With this ratio, the blood pH is 7.40.
The pH falls (acidosis) as bicarbonate decreases in relation to carbonic acid. The pH rises(alkalosis) as bicarbonate increases in relation to carbonic acid.
Four categories of acid-base imbalance may be encountered:
. In this context, “metabolic” refers to the