Because of the high acuity of hospitalized patients, nurses need an expanded knowledge base to provide comprehensive nursing care. Accurate assessment, prompt recognition, and proper management are vital components in the nursing care of patients with compromised functioning. The authors describe the physiological relationships between hemoglobin concentration, oxygen saturation, cardiac output, and acid-base balance.

To provide the comprehensive nursing care that is necessary and is expected by informed consumers, nurses need an expanded knowledge base. This need is especially apparent in hospitals, where the acuity of patients is high. Accurate assessment, prompt recognition, and proper management of adverse changes are vital components in the nursing care of patients with compromised functioning. Although physical examination is important, the need for understanding the principles of gas diffusion and laboratory assessment of tissue oxygenation, including interpretation of hemoglobin concentration, oxygen saturation, cardiac...

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