Calibration of electrodebased blood gas analyzers

Calibration establishes a relationship between electrode output (in millivolts or nanoamperes) and the units in which the measured variables are expressed (pH units and kilopascals or millimeters of mercury). The calibration process also ensures that the electrode outputs are products of the pH, PCO2, and PO2 of the analyzed samples. It is accomplished by introducing calibration standards of known pH, PCO2, and PO2 to the respective electrodes and adjusting the analyzer readings to the known values. Calibration standards for most analyzers are buffers for the pH electrode and known gases, corrected for barometric pressure, for the PCO2 and PO2 electrodes.

A one-point calibration is an adjustment of the electronic response to a single standard. This should be performed before each sample analysis or every 30 min. A two-point calibration adjusts the electronic responses to two standards. This should be performed every 2 to 8 h and after electrode aintenance and repair measures.

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