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Revista Colombiana de Anestesiología

versão impressa ISSN 0120-3347


CARDENAS-SANTAMARIA, Fabio Hernán et al. Arterial blood gas in young adults at an average altitude of 1605-m above sea level: Armenia, Colombia 2016. Rev. colomb. anestesiol. [online]. 2018, vol.46, n.3, pp.222-227. ISSN 0120-3347.


Arterial blood gas measurement is an essential quick test in clinical practice to evaluate oxygenation and for the identification and diagnosis of acid-base and metabolic disorders. Arterial blood gas reference values vary as a result of altitude changes associated with barometric pressure (bp).


To determine the PaCO2, PaO2, HCO3, and SaO2% values for a young population without lung disease in a city located at an average altitude of 1605-m above sea level and a bp of 624mm Hg.

Materials and methods:

Descriptive cross-sectional study in 137 arterial blood gas samples from male and female healthy volunteers aged between 18 and 40 years old. An COPD® point of care blood analysis portable system was used for readings with single-use individual cards.

Results and conclusion:

The 95% confidence interval (CI) limits were pH between 7.43 and 7.45, PaO2 between 86.23 and 88.83, PaCO2 between 32.64 and 33.87, and SatO2% between 97.13 and 97.38. No gender or age differences were found. When comparing the findings against other trials conducted over 2640-m above sea level, some differences were identified: PaO2 between 18 and 26 mm Hg lower at an altitude of 1605 m (Armenia), PCO2 between 2.0 and 2.7 mm Hg higher in Armenia, and also the SaO2% was between 3.6% and 6.2% higher. PaO2 and HCO3~ were mildly higher as compared with a study conducted in Medellin. The oxygenation index (PaO2/FIO2) was 416.83 (95% CI 410.63-23.03)- as expected-considering the difference in altitude due to the geographic location, pursuant to the referenced studies.

Palavras-chave : Oxygenation; Blood Gas Analysis; Acid-Base Equilibrium; Young Adult; Atmospheric Pressure.

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