A Review of Arterial Blood Gas Interpretation for Physiotherapists with Tania Larsen

A Review of Arterial Blood Gas Interpretation for Physiotherapists with Tania Larsen


This course includes

1:27:09 of Course Material (View)
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The instructors

Canadian Physiotherapy Association



Briefly describe the topic or project to be discussed, including any strengths/weaknesses in the current knowledge base and any existing barriers to its translation/application in clinical practice.

This webinar will provide a basic refresher of body chemistry as it relates to regulation of acid base balance in the body. This webinar will also review primary acid-base disorders, the accompanying changes in pH and describe mechanisms of compensation. Lastly, this webinar will review how to interpret arterial blood gases for the purpose of identifying primary acid-base disturbances, if compensation is occurring and discuss mechanisms of hypoxemia as they relate to arterial blood gases, primarily identifying hypoventilation is a contributing cause.

Relevance to Physiotherapy Practice

Clearly identify the clinical problem to be addressed during the session. Highlight how the information to be presented will improve clinicians’ assessment skills or affect patients’ outcomes.

Arterial blood base interpretation is an important component of cardiorespiratory physiotherapy assessment. Arterial blood gases provide physiotherapists with important information on the acid-base status of the body as well as how well the lungs are able to diffuse oxygen into and remove carbon dioxide from the blood. This information is important in determining causes of hypoxemia and can be used to inform help physiotherapists when making a clinical diagnosis and formulating treatment plans.    

Target Audience

Identify the level of prior exposure to the topic required to successfully follow the session (e.g., new to topic area, basic understanding of concepts/terms, targeted to students, entry to practice PT, PT with less than 5 years’ experience, 5-15 years of experience, 15+ years of experience, PTAs, Expert level PTs, PTs in Public Practice, Private Practice, Public/Private Practice, PTs in Admin or Supervisory Positions, PTs in Policy Practice):

Thus webinar is appropriate for physiotherapists looking for a basic refresher on arterial blood gas analysis. It is appropriate for physiotherapists of all levels of practice experience and most appropriate for those working in acute care or working with patients with acute or chronic respiratory dysfunction.


Upon completion of this workshop participants will be able to:

1. Describe the acid-base status in the body and review mechanisms that regulate pH in the body. 

2.  Describe the 4 primary acid-base disorders and the methods of compensation.

3. Identify normal ranges for arterial blood gases

4. Interpret arterial blood gases and be able to identify if primary acid-base disturbances are present and if partial or complete compensation is occurring

5. Describe mechanisms of hypoxemia as they relate to arterial blood gas interpretation.


Tania Larsen graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy from Western University in 2003. Since graduating, she has worked clinically at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) on a variety of inpatient services, with the majority of her clinical practice being in critical care. In 2006 she graduated with a Master’s of Science in Physical Therapy and is currently preparing to defend her PhD thesis this spring. Tania is the current Physiotherapy Clinical Resource Specialist at LHSC and teaches as part-time faculty within the School of Physical Therapy at Western University.

A Review of Arterial Blood Gas Interpretation for Physiotherapists

Welcome and Handout Resources

A Review of Arterial Blood Gas Interpretation for Physiotherapists