Tag Archives: Arterial blood gas

Oxygen Saturation Test

Definition:
Your red blood cells must carry sufficient oxygen through your arteries to all of your internal organs to keep you alive. Normally, when red blood cells pass through the lungs, 95%-100% of them are loaded, or “saturated,” with oxygen to carry. If you have lung disease or other types of medical conditions, fewer of your red blood cells may be carrying their usual load of oxygen, and your oxygen saturation might be lower than 95%. Your blood oxygen level can be measured in two ways.

How  the test is performed?
An estimate of your oxygen saturation can be made easily and painlessly with a clip that fits on your finger. This clip shines a light through one side of your finger; a detector measures the light that comes through the other side. This machine can make a good guess about your oxygen saturation because blood cells that are saturated with oxygen absorb and reflect light differently than those that are not. Blood cells are a bright red when they are loaded with oxygen, and they change to a bluish color when they are no longer carrying a full load. This machine cannot give a perfect measurement of your oxygen saturation; it can give only a rough estimate, and its measurement can be affected by things as simple as red nail polish on your finger.

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A better test for measuring your oxygen saturation is an arterial blood gas test. For this test, a small sample of blood must be drawn directly out of an artery. Most routine blood tests use blood that is drawn out of a vein, so this test is a little different. The artery that is sampled most often is the radial artery in your wrist, the one you can feel when you take your pulse. To draw blood from this artery, your doctor or a technician feels your pulse before inserting the needle. Some patients find that it hurts a little more to have blood taken from an artery instead of a vein, but the procedure takes only a few seconds. Your arterial blood can be directly tested for its oxygen level, and other tests (such as the level of carbon dioxide and the pH of the blood) can be done as well.

How do you prepare for the test?
No preparation  is needed.

Risk Factors:
Measurement made with a fingerclip has no risks. The risks of an arterial blood gas test are very small. Even temporary injury to your artery is unlikely to cause a problem, because most patients pump blood to their hand through more than one artery.

Before drawing your blood, your doctor may do a brief physical examination to make sure that you still get good blood flow to your hand even when one wrist artery is blocked. To do this test, the doctor presses down first on both sides of your wrist to block blood flow, until your hand becomes pale. Then he or she lifts off the pressure from one side to see if that is enough to let your hand turn pink again.

Must you do anything special after the test is over?
You will need to have pressure held over the artery for a few minutes after the blood is drawn, because arteries are more likely than veins to bleed afterward.

How long is it before the result of the test is known?
The results of the arterial blood gas test are processed very quickly and are available within 15 minutes in most laboratories. The fingerclip estimate of oxygen is available immediately.

Resources:
https://www.health.harvard.edu/diagnostic-tests/oxygen-saturation-test.htm

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Broccoli ‘May Help Protect Lungs’

numbered version of :Image:Respiratory system ...Image via Wikipedia

 

A substance found in broccoli may limit the damage which leads to serious lung disease, research suggests.
…….CLICK & SEE

Sulforapane is found in broccoli and brussel sprouts

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is often caused by smoking and kills about 30,000 UK residents a year.

US scientists found that sulforapane increases the activity of the NRF2 gene in human lung cells which protects cells from damage caused by toxins.

The same broccoli compound was recently found to be protective against damage to blood vessels caused by diabetes.

Brassica vegetables such as broccoli have also been linked to a lower risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Cell pollutants

In the latest study, a team from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine found significantly lower activity of the NRF2 gene in smokers with advanced COPD.

Writing in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, they said the gene is responsible for turning on several mechanisms for removing toxins and pollutants which can damage cells.

“We know broccoli naturally contains important compounds but studies so far have taken place in the test tube and further research is needed to find if you can produce the same effect in humans” :-Spokeswoman, British Lung Foundation

Previous studies in mice had shown that disrupting the NRF2 gene caused early onset severe emphysema – one of the conditions suffered by COPD patients.

Increasing the activity of NRF2 may lead to useful treatments for preventing the progression of COPD, the researchers said.

In the study, they showed that sulforapane was able to restore reduced levels of NRF2 in cells exposed to cigarette smoke.

“Future studies should target NRF2 as a novel strategy to increase antioxidant protection in the lungs and test its ability to improve lung function in people with COPD,” said study leader Dr Shyam Biswal.

A spokeswoman for the British Lung Foundation said: “This is an important study for the 3 million people in the UK with COPD because of its findings about the imbalance of oxidants and antioxidants in the lungs.

“We know broccoli naturally contains important compounds but studies so far have taken place in the test tube and further research is needed to find if you can produce the same effect in humans.

Sources:BBC NEWS:Sept 12. ’08

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Alkalosis

Definition:Alkalosis is a condition in which the body fluids have excess base (alkali).It refers to a condition reducing hydrogen ion concentration of arterial blood plasma (alkalemia). Generally alkalosis is said to occur when pH of the blood exceeds 7.45. The opposite condition is acidosis.

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Types:
More specifically, alkalosis can refer to:

*Respiratory alkalosis
*Metabolic alkalosis

Causes: The lungs and kidneys regulate the acid/base status of the body. Decreased carbon dioxide (an acid) or increased bicarbonate (a base) levels make the body too alkaline, a condition called alkalosis.

The kidneys are located in the posterior abdomen and are responsible for filtering urine from the blood.
The main cause of respiratory alkalosis is hyperventilation, resulting in a loss of carbon dioxide. Compensatory mechanisms for this would include increased dissociation of the carbonic acid buffering intermediate into hydrogen ions, and the related consumption of bicarbonate, both of which would lower blood pH.

Metabolic alkalosis can be caused by prolonged vomiting, resulting in a loss of hydrochloric acid with the stomach content. Severe dehydration, and the consumption of alkali are other causes. Compensatory mechanism for metabolic alkalosis involve slowed breathing by the lungs to increase serum carbon dioxide, a condition leaning toward respiratory acidosis. As respiratory acidosis often accompanies the compensation for metabolic alkalosis, and visa versa, a delicate balance is created between these two conditions.

*Respiratory alkalosis is caused by low carbon dioxide levels. Being at a high altitude or having a disease that reduces oxygen in the blood can cause you to breathe faster (hyperventilate), which lowers carbon dioxide levels.

*Metabolic alkalosis is caused by too much bicarbonate in the blood.

*Hypochloremic alkalosis is caused by an extreme lack or loss of chloride, which can occur with prolonged vomiting.

*Hypokalemic alkalosis is caused by the kidneys’ response to an extreme lack or loss of potassium, which can occur when people take certain diuretic medications.

*Compensated alkalosis occurs when the body returns the acid/base balance to normal in cases of alkalosis, but bicarbonate and carbon dioxide levels remain abnormal.

Symptoms :

*Confusion (can progress to stupor or coma)

*Hand tremor

*Light-headedness

*Muscle twitching

*Nausea, vomiting

*Numbness or tingling in the face or extremities

*Prolonged muscle spasms (tetany)

Other Symptoms are :over-excitability of the nervous system manifested by nervous “tics,” hyperventilation, sore muscles, creaking and popping joints, bursitis, drowsiness, “bugged-out” eyes, high blood pressure, edema, allergies, night cramps, asthma, chronic indigestion, night coughs, thick blood, menstrual problems etc.

Diagnosis:(Exams and Tests):Tests of pH can show whether you have alkalosis or acidosis. Carbon dioxide and bicarbonate tests indicate whether the cause of alkalosis or acidosis is respiratory (breathing-related) or metabolic (kidney-related).

Tests for alkalosis include:

*Arterial blood gas (or venous blood gas)

*Chem-20

*Litmus paper (urine dipstick tests)

*Urinalysis

*Urine pH

You may click to see:->
ACID-BASE PATHOPHYSIOLOGY

Contraction Alkalosis and Hypokalemia

Treatment : Treatment of alkalosis depends on finding the specific cause.

For alkalosis caused by hyperventilation, breathing into a paper bag causes you to retain more carbon dioxide. You may receive oxygen.

Some people need medications to correct chemical loss (such as chloride and potassium). Your health care provider will monitor your vital signs (temperature, pulse, rate of breathing, blood pressure).

Herbs that are more beneficial to Fight symptoms that include creaking and popping joints, allergies, night cramps, asthma and more with nature’s remedies are Alfalfa and Rose Hips.

Vitamin C. intake also helps a lot.

Prognosis:

Most cases of alkalosis respond well to treatment.

Possible Complications :

*Arrhythmias

*Coma

*Electrolyte imbalance (such as hypokalemia)

When to Contact a Medical Professional : Call your health care provider if you become confused, unable to concentrate, or unable to “catch your breath.”

A visit to the emergency room or call to the local emergency number (such as 911) is warranted for:

*Loss of consciousness

*Rapidly worsening symptoms of alkalosis

*Seizures

*Severe breathing difficulties

Prevention :Prevention depends on the cause of the alkalosis. Normally, people with healthy kidneys and lungs do not significantly experience alkalosis.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/MEDLINEPLUS/ency/article/001183.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alkalosis
http://herbnews.org/alkalosisdone.htm

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Kidney Failure

Kidney failure is a serious disease which can have a major impact on life, and can ultimately be fatal. However, it can be successfully treated.

What do the kidneys do?

In order for blood to perform its essential functions of bringing nutrients and oxygen to the cells of the body, and carrying waste materials away from those cells, the chemical composition of the blood must be carefully controlled.

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The kidneys play a crucial role in this process by filtering the blood under high pressure and removing potential toxins, which are excreted from the body in the urine.

Every day the kidneys filter the body’s entire blood volume seven or eight times.

What is kidney failure?.....CLICK & SEE

When the kidneys start to fail, toxins are not f & iltered out of the blood, and start accumulate in the tissues. This can lead to a range of problems.

Build up of two waste products, urea and creatinine, can lead to tiredness, weakness, loss of appetite and vomiting.

Accumulation of acid generated during the body’s metabolic processes can lead to a condition called metabolic acidosis.

Failure to get rid of phosphate, causes the blood phosphate level to increase and calcium level to fall.

When calcium level is low, bones will become brittle.

The kidney may also lose its ability to produce erythropoietin, resulting in anaemia.

Kidney failure is also associated with an increase in the volume of water in the body which can result in a swelling of the tissues.

Excess salt and water retention may cause high blood pressure, swelling of the legs, face, abdomen and breathlessness.

What causes kidney failure?

There are many possible causes of kidney damage or kidney failure. They include:

* Decreased blood flow, which may occur with extremely low blood pressure caused by trauma, surgery, serious illnesses, septic shock, hemorrhage, burns, or dehydration
* Acute tubular necrosis (ATN)
* Infections that directly injury the kidney such as acute pyelonephritis or septicemia
* Urinary tract obstruction (obstructive uropathy)
* Autoimmune kidney disease such as interstitial nephritis or acute nephritic syndrome
* Disorders that cause clotting within the thin blood vessels of the kidney
o Idiopathic thrombocytopenic thrombotic purpura (ITTP)
o Transfusion reaction
o Malignant hypertension
o Scleroderma,
o Hemolytic-uremic syndrome
o Disorders of childbirth, such as bleeding placenta abruptio or placenta previa

The most common causes of kidney failure are glomerulonephritis (inflammation of the kidney) and diabetes mellitus.

Other causes of kidney failure are kidney stones, kidney cysts, an immune disorder called systemic lupus erythematosus, uncontrolled high blood pressure and drugs.

What are the symptoms?

As the kidneys begin to fail the following symptoms can begin develop:

* Decrease in amount of urine (oliguria)
* Urination stops (anuria)
* Excessive urination at night
* Ankle, feet, and leg swelling
* Generalized swelling, fluid retention
* Decreased sensation, especially in the hands or feet
* Decreased appetite
* Metallic taste in mouth
* Persistent hiccups
* Changes in mental status or mood
o Agitation
o Drowsiness
o Lethargy
o Delirium or confusion
o Coma
o Mood changes
o Trouble paying attention
o Hallucinations
* Slow, sluggish, movements
* Seizures
* Hand tremor (shaking)
* Nausea or vomiting, may last for days
* Brusing easily
* Prolonged bleeding
* Nosebleeds
* Bloody stools
* Flank pain (between the ribs and hips)
* Fatigue
* Breath odor
* High blood pressure

* pale and sallow complexion
* fatigue
* shortness of breath
* body itch
* sometimes nausea and vomiting
* swelling of the face and legs
* disruption of urination patterns

How it is diagnosed?
Exams and Tests:

Examination and testing can help diagnose acute kidney failure and help rule out other problems that can affect kidney function.

Many patients have generalized swelling caused by fluid retention. The doctor will use a stethoscope to listen to the heart and lungs. A heart murmur, crackles in the lungs, inflammation of the lining of the heart (pericarditis), or other related to extra fluid may be heard.

The results of laboratory tests may change suddenly (within a few days to 2 weeks).

* Urine tests (urinalysis) may be abnormal.
* Serum creatinine, BUN, creatinine clearance, and serum potassium levels may increase.
* Arterial blood gas and blood chemistries may show metabolic acidosis.
* Kidney or abdominal ultrasound are preferred tests, but abdominal x-ray, abdominal CT scan, or abdominal MRI can tell if there is a blockage in the urinary tract.
* Blood tests may help reveal the underlying cause of kidney failure.

How is it treated?

Once the cause is found, the goal of treatment is to restore kidney function and prevent fluid and waste from building up in the body while the kidneys heal. Usually, you have to stay overnight in the hospital for treatment.

The amount of liquid you eat (such as soup) or drink will be limited to the amount of urine you can produce. You will be told what you may and may not eat to reduce the build-up of toxins normally handled by the kidneys. This diet may be high in carbohydrates and low in protein, salt, and potassium.

You may need antibiotics to treat or prevent infection. Diuretics (“water pills”) may be used to help the kidneys lose fluid.

It will be very important to avoid dangerous hyperkalemia (increased blood potassium levels) by using IV (intravenous) calcium, glucose/insulin, or potassium exchange resin (Kayexalate).

Dialysis may be needed, and can make you feel better. It is not always necessary, but it can save your life if your serum potassium is dangerously high. Dialysis will also be used if your mental status changes, your potassium level starts to rise, you stop urinating, develop pericarditis, become overloaded with fluid, or cannot eliminate nitrogen waste products from your body.
The most common treatment is by dialysis, a technique which artificially mimics the action of the kidneys.

What is dialysis?

There are two types of dialysis.

Haemodialysis is the most frequently prescribed type of dialysis treatment….CLICK & SEE

It involves circulating the patient’s blood outside of the body through a series of tubes.

The blood is filtered in a way similar to that used by the kidneys by using a chemical bath to draw out waste products.

Most haemodialysis patients require treatment three times a week, for an average of 3-4 hours per dialysis.

Less common is a technique known as peritoneal dialysis, in which the lining of the abdomen acts a blood filter.….CLICK & SEE

>Kidney Failure Herbs

Is a transplant an option?….CLICK & SEE

For the right patient at the right time, a transplant is the best treatment for kidney failure.

If it works well the patient will be totally free from dialysis. Many patients with kidney failure are suitable for a transplant.

Prognosis:
While acute kidney failure is potentially life-threatening and may require intensive treatment, the kidneys usually start working again within several weeks to months after the underlying cause has been treated.

In cases where this does not happen, chronic renal failure or end-stage renal disease develops. Death can occur, but is most common when kidney failure is caused by surgery, trauma, or severe infection in someone with heart disease, lung disease, or recent stroke. Old age, infection, loss of blood from the intestinal tract, and progression of kidney failure also increase the risk of death.


Possible Complications :

* Loss of blood in the intestines
* Chronic (ongoing) kidney failure
* End-stage renal disease
* Damage to the heart or nervous system
* Hypertension (high blood pressure)

Prevention: Treating disorders such as high blood pressure can help prevent acute kidney failure. Unfortunately, prevention is not always possible.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

 

Resources:
BBC NEWS:OCT 15, 2001
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000501.htm#Definition

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