The nurse is reviewing arterial blood gases (ABGs) on a client. Which finding would prompt the nurse to notify the health care provider?

  1. pH 7.42
  2. pH 7.67
  3. hCO3 24 mEq/L
  4. paCO2 41 mmHg
  5. paCO2 44 mmHg
Number 2 is correct.
Rationale: The normal pH is 7.35 – 7.45. A pH of 7.67 is highly alkalotic and should be reported immediately to the health care provider. The normal range for hCO3 is 22 – 26 mEq/L. The normal range for paCO2 is 35 – 45 mmHg. ABGs are used to assess how well the lungs move oxygen into the blood and remove carbon dioxide. They are used to guide ventilator settings in clients who require mechanical ventilation.