Are arterial blood gases necessary in the evaluation of acutely dyspneic patients?
1 Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, The George Washington University MFA, 2150 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20037, USA
2 Department of Medicine and Anesthesiology, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, The George Washington University MFA, 2150 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20037, USA
Critical Care 2011, 15:176 doi:10.1186/cc10279
See related research by Burri et al., http://ccforum.com/content/15/3/R145Published: 2 August 2011
Arterial blood gases (ABG) are obtained commonly in dyspneic persons presenting to emergency departments. The study by Burri and colleagues found that the information contained in ABG fails to distinguish between pulmonary and other causes of dyspnea. On the other hand, arterial pH was highly predictive of ICU admission and outcome. Until large clinical studies show equivalence between peripheral venous and ABG, we will continue to advocate the use of ABG in the evaluation of acute dyspnea.