Clinical utility of arterialised capillary earlobe sampling in the critical care setting
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KeywordsArterial Line Altman Analysis Vasoactive Agent Critical Care Setting Arterial pCO2
The purpose of this study was to determine whether earlobe capillary blood gas sampling, performed by nonmedical staff, provides a clinically acceptable estimate of the pH, pCO2 and pO2 in critically ill adults.
Paired samples (arterial and capillary) were obtained from patients aged 16 years and over admitted to the general intensive therapy unit who had an arterial line in situ. Details of the severity of illness, use of vasoactive agents and complications were recorded.
Limits of agreement
-0.07 to 0.02
-0.62 to 1.33
-2.4 to 4.5
Capillary earlobe sampling provides a reliable estimation of the arterial pH and pCO2 in critically ill patients. For estimation, the technique has a higher level of agreement pO2 when the arterial PO2 is below 10 kPa. Capillary earlobe blood sampling would be a reliable method of monitoring for patients who do not have an arterial line in situ and can be performed without complications by nonmedical personnel.
This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd.