What are they looking for in a arterial blood gas?

O2/CO2 exchange. Abg is used for two purposes: 1) how your lungs are handling the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide 2) the acid/base metabolism affected by breathing and various metabolic disturbances (eg., diabetic coma, toxic ingestion of substances, sepsis).

Related Questions

Arterial blood gas question? Do they stick you for it?

Yes. As the name implies, an arterial blood gas is when they check your gas levels (oxygen and carbon dioxide) from the blood in your arteries. Therefore, you must be stuck with a needle in your artery (usually the radial artery for an adult). The only time you wouldn't be stuck for it is if you already have a special IV line (arterial line) in place - but then you're most likely in the icu. Read more...