What does a high pCO2 level mean?

PCO2 levels will directly affect the levels of acid in the blood. PCO2 normal – 35 to 45 mm Hg. Increases above the levels indicated, could possibly mean that the CO2 is building due to hypoventilation or respiratory failure of some kind.

What happens when PCO2 is high?

Under normal physiologic conditions, an increase in PCO2 causes a decrease in pH, which will increase minute ventilation and therefore increase alveolar ventilation to attempt to reach homeostasis. The higher the minute ventilation, the more exchange and loss of PCO2 will occur inversely.

What does it mean when PaCO2 is high?

An elevated PaCO2 reflects alveolar hypoventilation, whereas a decreased PaCO2 reflects alveolar hyperventilation. Acute changes in PaCO2 will alter the pH. As a general rule, a low pH with a high PaCO2 suggests a respiratory acidosis, while a low pH with a low PaCO2 suggests a metabolic acidosis.

Why would ABG PCO2 be high?

If you have an elevated pCO2 and normal HCO3 → then you have a respiratory acidosis on your hands. If you have a normal pCO2 and low HCO3 then you have a metabolic acidosis. SO REMEMBER: As your pCO2 will be inverse to your pH → as your pCO2 rises your pH will fall.

What does a high pO2 level indicate?

Normal or slightly elevated pO2 and SaO2 levels indicate that the patient is well oxygenated; – Note the pH value to determine the presence of acidosis or alkalosis. Acidosis is indicated by a pH of <7.35 and alkalosis by a pH >7.45; – Study the pCO2 and HCO3 values.

Why is pCO2 high in COPD?

As COPD advances, these patients cannot maintain a normal respiratory exchange. COPD patients have a reduced ability to exhale carbon dioxide adequately, which leads to hypercapnia.

How do you fix high pCO2?


  1. Ventilation. There are two types of ventilation used for hypercapnia: …
  2. Medication. Certain medications can assist breathing, such as:
  3. Oxygen therapy. People who undergo oxygen therapy regularly use a device to deliver oxygen to the lungs. …
  4. Lifestyle changes. …
  5. Surgery.

What affects PCO2?

Two factors each have a significant impact on the pCO2. The first is how rapidly and deeply the individual is breathing: Someone who is hyperventilating will “blow off” more CO2, leading to lower pCO2 levels. Someone who is holding their breath will retain CO2, leading to increased pCO2 levels.

What causes hypercapnia?

What Causes Hypercapnia? Hypercapnia occurs when the blood’s CO2 level rises above normal due to respiratory problems, excessive metabolism, or more rarely, from breathing in too much CO2. The body produces CO2 as a byproduct of metabolism.

What is PCO2 in blood gas?

The partial pressure of carbon dioxide (PCO2) is the measure of carbon dioxide within arterial or venous blood. It often serves as a marker of sufficient alveolar ventilation within the lungs. Generally, under normal physiologic conditions, the value of PCO2 ranges between 35 to 45 mmHg, or 4.7 to 6.0 kPa.

Can dehydration cause high CO2 levels?

A high level may be caused by: Vomiting. Dehydration.

How do you fix respiratory acidosis?

Treatment is aimed at the underlying disease, and may include:

  1. Bronchodilator medicines and corticosteroids to reverse some types of airway obstruction.
  2. Noninvasive positive-pressure ventilation (sometimes called CPAP or BiPAP) or a breathing machine, if needed.
  3. Oxygen if the blood oxygen level is low.

Is a CO2 level of 30 high?

The normal range is 23 to 29 milliequivalents per liter (mEq/L) or 23 to 29 millimoles per liter (mmol/L). Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to your provider about the meaning of your specific test results.

What level of CO2 in blood is fatal?

(41.8–64.6 mmHg) among subjects with symptoms, suggesting that a safe CO2 exposure level cannot be characterized by a single value [10]. Concentrations of fatal cases of carbon dioxide vary between 14.1 and 26% CO2 and an accompanying O2 level between 4.2 and 25% [1, 8, 11].

What is an unhealthy level of CO2?

5,000 ppm: this indicates unusual air conditions where high levels of other gases could also be present. Toxicity or oxygen deprivation could occur. This is the permissible exposure limit for daily workplace exposures. 40,000 ppm: this level is immediately harmful due to oxygen deprivation.

Can sleep apnea cause high CO2 levels?

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – People who suffer from the nighttime breathing disorder known as sleep apnea may develop high levels of carbon dioxide in the blood during the daytime — a condition known as hypercapnia, Japanese researchers have found.

What are symptoms of high CO2 levels?

Having too much carbon dioxide in the body can cause nonspecific symptoms like headache, fatigue, and muscle twitches. Often, it clears up quickly on its own. With severe hypercapnia, though, the body can’t restore CO2 balance and the symptoms are more serious.

What are the symptoms of hypercapnia?

Symptoms of Hypercapnia
Shortness of breath. Daytime sluggishness. Headache. Daytime sleepiness even when you slept a lot at night (your doctor might call this hypersomnolence)