Maternal blood gas physiology

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The arterial blood gas provides vital information regarding acid-base balance, oxygenation, and ventilation. Clinically, a blood gas is most commonly used to identify and monitor treatment of acid-base disturbances and evaluate the response to therapeutic interventions. This chapter focuses on fundamental physiology, analytic considerations, the effective interpretation of an arterial blood gas, and acid-base disturbances. Disturbances in acid-base balance are classified according to whether the underlying process results in an abnormal rise or fall in arterial pH. The accuracy of a blood gas determination relies on many factors, including blood collection techniques, specimen transport, and laboratory equipment. The chapter highlights considerations for obtaining a blood sample and potential sources of error, and briefly describes laboratory methods. Metabolic acidosis is diagnosed on the basis of a decreased serum bicarbonate and arterial pH. The baseline bicarbonate concentration during pregnancy should be kept in mind when interpreting the bicarbonate concentration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCritical Care Obstetrics
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781119129400
ISBN (Print)9781119129370
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Acid-base disturbances
  • Arterial ph
  • Bicarbonate concentration
  • Blood gas
  • Metabolic acidosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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