Which findings on arterial blood gas measurements suggest carbon monoxide (CO) toxicity?

Updated: Sep 18, 2018
  • Author: Guy N Shochat, MD; Chief Editor: Gil Z Shlamovitz, MD, FACEP  more...
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Findings on arterial blood gas measurement include the following:

  • Partial pressure of oxygen (PaO2) levels should remain normal; oxygen saturation is accurate only if directly measured but not if calculated from PaO2, which is common in many blood gas analyzers.

  • As with pulse oximetry, estimate PCO2 levels by subtracting the carboxyhemoglobin (HbCO) level from the calculated saturation. PCO2 level may be normal or slightly decreased. Metabolic acidosis occurs secondary to lactic acidosis from ischemia.

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