The nurse is caring for a thoracotomy client, one day post operative on 40% humidified
oxygen. ABG results are: PO2=90, PCO2=49, pH=7.30, HCO3=26. Based on this
information, which of the following nursing actions would be best?
1. Position in high fowlers and encourage coughing, deep breathing, evaluate airway
2. Place in prone position and request respiratory therapy to perform postural drainage and
3. Call the doctor and advise him of the ABGs; anticipate increase in oxygen percentage
4. Administer anti-anxiety agent and assist the client with a rebreathing device to increase
1.If you had just had a thoracotomy would you be taking nice big deep breaths? No. So
what would you be retaining? CO2 which makes your PCO2 go up which makes your pH go
down. I’m acidotic aren’t I?