Venous blood gas: 22.0 – 32.0 mmol/L
Determination of bicarbonate is an important part of blood-gas analysis.
Bicarbonate is calculated from pH and pCO2 using the Henderson–Hasselbalch equation
HCO3, blood gas
In order to obtain an accurate result the specimen must be maintained in an anaerobic state. Exposure to air will cause the bicarbonate concentration of the specimen to decrease.
Register sample as pH/BGAS to avoid sample being centrifuged in error
Treat as urgent.
Blood 5 mL (or full tube) heparinised (T34) taken directly, or 0.5 mL whole blood in heparinised syringe.
Chilled (2 - 8 degrees Celsius)
Blood tube unopened sent to the Core Biochemistry Lab, or 0.5 mL whole blood.
Transport on ice, within 15 mins, sample must be kept anaerobic
The bicarbonate result should be interpreted in the context of the overall blood gas profile.
A low bicarbonate may represent a metabolic acidosis or metabolic compensation for a chronic respiratory alkalosis.
A high bicarbonate may represent a metabolic alkalosis or metabolic compensation for chronic respiratory acidosis.
Calculated from pH & PCO2 on blood gas analyser.
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