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Cover image for: Interpretation of Arterial Blood Gas Results
CPD1h 10m of CPD
First Published
Updated05 November 2017
Expires 20 October 2018

Course Overview

This Course will provide an overview of the basic interpretation of arterial blood gas results and their relationship to metabolic and respiratory abnormalities.

Topics include:

  • A review of the physiology of respiration
  • Normal arterial blood gas ranges and what they mean
  • How to obtain a blood gas sample
  • Metabolic abnormalities and their causes
  • Respiratory abnormalities and their causes

Target audience

Health professionals in all settings, but particularly for those working in the following areas:

  • Acute care settings
  • Emergency departments
  • Critical care


Review and introduce the theoretical and practical components associated with the interpretation of arterial blood gases.


Critically ill patients are not confined to critical care units. Every day, practitioners working in acute areas encounter arterial blood gas results, which they are required to interpret. The result of an arterial blood gas sample can quickly and accurately provide reliable data on the state of a person’s acid-base balance and oxygen levels. This information can be critical in determining the speed and type of intervention required to address any abnormalities, and for assessing the effectiveness of such interventions. Arterial blood gas analysis can be complex, but this Course provides an accessible and easily understood interpretation of this advanced practice skill.

Health professionals in Australia that are registered with AHPRA are required to obtain continuing professional development (CPD) hours/points each year that relates to their context of practice, in order to comply with mandatory regulatory requirements.

Learning Outcomes
  • Describe the normal physiology of the respiratory system
  • Explain when an arterial blood gas might be needed
  • Identify normal and abnormal values of arterial blood gas results
  • Recognise specific arterial blood gas abnormalities and clinical concerns

The presenter and all members of the planning team have disclosed that they have no relevant financial commercial relationships to products or devices related to the content of this educational activity. Wherever possible, generic or non-proprietary names of medication have been used. Courses include expert peer reviews of the content where applicable.

  • Video Recording Completed: 01/08/2012
  • Video Recording Location: Melbourne, Australia
  • Course First Published: 06/11/2017
  • Course Reviewed: N/A
  • Course Republished: N/A
  • Course Expiry Date: 21/10/2018
  • Corrections / changes made: N/A

This CPD/CNE activity will expire on 21/10/2018 after which CPD/CNE hours will not be valid.


Portrait of Darren Wake
Darren Wake

Peripatetic and always intellectually restless, Darren Wake has pursued varied careers in journalism, media production, academic philosophy and nursing. As a nurse, he worked in the speciality areas of critical care, community care, remote area healthcare and education. As a formally qualified academic philosopher Darren taught undergraduate units in law and ethics in healthcare, although his principle research focus revolved around logic and the philosophy of language. Darren’s media production output can be found scattered about the Ausmed website and in his long forgotten days as a word monkey, he wrote for European publications such as The Scotsman, The Great Outdoors, Country Walking and The Times. In 2014 Darren consulted to the Department of Health for the development of Consumer Directed Care policy and guidelines for remote area communities in the Northern Territory. These days he is the managing editor of a small independent publishing company based in the United Kingdom, and lives in Tasmania. In his spare time, Darren is currently studying a formal course in celestial navigation, just in case the inevitable zombie apocalypse messes with the world’s GPS satellite system. See Educator Profile

CPD1h 10m of CPD
First Published
Updated05 November 2017
Expires 20 October 2018
Clinical Assessment
Critical Care
Intensive Care
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Lipids and Metabolic
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Learner Reviews

Total Rating(s)
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Kerrie B
12 Sep 2018

Thorough but easy to understand

Portrait of Rebecca ann dileo
Rebecca ann dileo
29 Jul 2018

Recommend. Indepth

Portrait of Sarah McAllen
Sarah McAllen
19 Jul 2018

Excellent tutorial. Shows how to break down the ABG for easy interpretation and provides a step by step tool to show you how to do this.

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Catherine Tume
04 Jul 2018

Very useful

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Sara Castelijn
21 Jun 2018

Excellent information and we'll presented. I particularly enjoyed the application of all the learning in the case studies at the end!

Portrait of Maddi Newell
Maddi Newell
18 Jun 2018


Portrait of Jenna He
Jenna He
17 Jun 2018

A very thorough revision of ABG interpretation

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Donna Hope
09 Jun 2018

Very good explanation of the topic with relevant examples.

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Avelina Go Chow
04 Jun 2018

Quite confusing but very educational

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Deborah French
30 May 2018

Excellent. Thank you