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Published online: 2023-12-20

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Are blood gas analyzers reliable in electrolytes and other parameters?

Zamir Kemal Erturk1, Togay Evrin2, Berkay Ekici3, Bahadır Ertürk4, Sinan Cem Uzunget5, Tuğba Çandar6


INTRODUCTION: Rapid diagnostic tests play an important role, especially for critical patients in emergency medicine. Blood gas analysis is one of these tests. The aim is to understand how reliable venous blood gas analyzers in electrolytes, haemoglobin haematocrits, and glucose are.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: This research is prospective clinical research that collected data within five months in the emergency department of a training and research hospital. 350 patients were included in the research. Venous blood gases and biochemical parameters were measured in these patients. Haemoglobin haematocrit, potassium, sodium, and glucose levels were measured by a central laboratory and blood gases analyzer.

RESULTS: The mean blood gas analyzer’s results for haemoglobin were above 2 g/dL (p < 0.001) than central laboratory, likewise haematocrit, this difference was % 7.4 (p < 0.001). When considering US CLIA limits, results that were outside of USCLIA limits for haemoglobin and haematocrit were 78% and 92% respectively. Blood gas analyzers were more successful in electrolytes, potassium (p < 0.001), and sodium (p < 0.001). Despite statistical differences two analyzer methods, results that are outside of USCLIA limits were 20% for potassium and 12% for sodium. Blood gas analyzers were reliable for glucose when compared with the central laboratory. There are no statistically significant results in the two measurement methods for glucose.

CONCLUSIONS: Venous blood gas cannot be used for biochemical tests other than glucose in emergency departments. Venous blood gas can guide the physician until the biochemistry results are finalized.

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