Arterial Blood Gas interpretation:
A case study approach

Arterial Blood Gas interpretation:  A case study approach PDF

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Arterial Blood Gas interpretation: A case study approach

The purpose of the oxygen dissociation curve is to show the equilibrium of oxyhaemoglobin and non-bonded haemoglobin at various partial pressures. At high partial pressures of oxygen,  haemoglobin binds to oxygen to form oxyhaemoglobin. When the blood is fully saturated, all the red blood cells are in the form of oxyhaemoglobin. As the red blood cells travel to tissues deprived of oxygen, the partial pressure of oxygen will decrease. As a consequence of this, the oxyhaemoglobin  releases the oxygen to form haemoglobin. The shape of the oxygen dissociation curve is a product of binding of the oxygen to the four  polypeptide chains.

A characteristic of haemoglobin is that it has a greater ability to bind oxygen once  a sub-unit has bound oxygen. Haemoglobin is therefore most attracted to oxygen when three of the four polypeptide chains are bound to oxygen. This is known as co-operative binding.

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The binding of oxygen to haemoglobin can be influenced by a number of factors. An increase in body temperature can denature the bond between oxygen and , thus increasing the  amounts of oxygen and haemoglobin but decreasing the amount of bound oxyhaemoglobin. This  causes a right shift in the oxygen dissociation curve.