National surveys on internal quality control for blood gas analysis and related electrolytes in clinical laboratories of China

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Abstract

Background:

Internal quality control (IQC) is essential for precision evaluation and continuous quality improvement. This study aims to investigate the IQC status of blood gas analysis (BGA) in clinical laboratories of China from 2014 to 2017.

Methods:

IQC information on BGA (including pH, pCO2, pO2, Na+, K+, Ca2+, Cl−) was submitted by external quality assessment (EQA) participant laboratories and collected through Clinet-EQA reporting system in March from 2014 to 2017. First, current CVs were compared among different years and measurement systems. Then, percentages of laboratories meeting five allowable imprecision specifications for each analyte were calculated, respectively. Finally, laboratories were divided into different groups based on control rules and frequency to compare their variation trend.

Results:

The current CVs of BGA were significantly decreasing from 2014 to 2017. pH and pCO2 got the highest pass rates when compared with the minimum imprecision specification, whereas pO2, Na+, K+, Ca2+, Cl− got the highest pass rates when 1/3 TEa imprecision specification applied. The pass rates of pH, pO2, Na+, K+, Ca2+, Cl− were significantly increasing during the 4 years. The comparisons of current CVs among different measurement systems showed that the precision performance of different analytes among different measurement systems had no regular distribution from 2014 to 2017. The analysis of IQC practice indicated great progress and improvement among different years.

Conclusions:

The imprecision performance of BGA has improved from 2014 to 2017, but the status of imprecision performance in China remains unsatisfying. Therefore, further investigation and continuous improvement measures should be taken.

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