Arterial blood gas (ABG)

An arterial blood gas is a specialized blood test that measures the level of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood. This test is often used to determine if home oxygen therapy is needed.

How to access our services?

  • You must have a referral from your physician to get an appointment and pass this test.

Who do we serve?

  • Adults
  • Children aged 12 and older

This test is provided by the Respiratory Therapy Program.

About The Program

Before your appointment

  • Your doctor will fax us a request. Please make sure your contact information is accurate so we may call you to schedule the appointment.
  • We will call you to schedule an appointment and provide preparation instructions.
  • You will receive a reminder call a few days before your appointment.
  • Please call us at least 48 hours in advance if you must cancel or change the date of your appointment.

What to bring

  • Valid Health card
  • List of all your medications, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, supplements and herbal medicines

When you arrive

  • Please register at one of the self-service registration kiosks at the Main Entrance at least 30 minutes before your scheduled appointment. Clerks are available to help with the registration process.
  • Upon registering, take a “puck”. It will buzz and light up when your turn comes up and indicate in which room to report.
  • Use the Cardiology entrance door in Block A to go the Pulmonary Function Lab for your test.

Preparation and procedure

  • Take your medication as usual on the day of your test.
  • No preparation is required for this test.
  • The Respiratory Therapist will draw a blood sample from an artery, most commonly in the wrist. This sample will be sent to measure the different gasses in the blood like oxygen.
  • The test only takes a few minutes.

Test results

  • The Respiratory Therapist who performs your test is not able to give you the results of your exam. The Respirologist or Internal Medicine Specialist will analyse the recorded data and send a written report to the referring physician within 10 working days.
  • Results will also be available in your electronic medical record. For information on the creation of an account and how to access your electronic medical record, visit MyChart.
  • You must book an appointment with your family doctor or healthcare professional who sent us the referral to discuss your test results.