Learning all the different normal values is an important step for Respiratory Therapy Students when it comes to making informed clinical decisions. Because, if you’re not familiar with what’s normal, how are you supposed to know what action to take?

This is why it’s so important for students to know, learn, memorize, and understand all of the required normal values. The good news is, we’ve listed them all out for you here to make that process easier for you.

Not to mention, questions and problems found on both the TMC Exam and Clinical Sims will include normal patient values. That means you will be required to know the normal ranges in order to select the correct answer.

Again, this is no reason to panic.

All it takes is a little bit of time and focus and you can master all of the normal values in no time. And this guide can help you learn exactly what you need to know.

So if you’re ready, let’s go ahead and dive right in.

? Note: In general, normal values may vary from publication to publication. With that said, we’ve attempted to provide the ranges that will be most helpful for the TMC Exam and Clinical Sims.

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Patient Assessment Normal Values:

  • Heart Rate:  60 – 100 beats/min
  • Respiratory Rate:  8 – 20 breaths/min
  • Oxygen Saturation (SpO2):  > 93%
  • Blood Pressure:  120/80 mmHg
  • Body Temperature:  37˚Celsius

ABG Normal Values:

  • pH:  7.35 – 7.45
  • PaCO2:  35 – 45 mmHg
  • PaO2:  80 – 100 mmHg
  • HCO3-:  22 – 26 mEq/L
  • BE:  -2 – +2

Normal Lab Values:

  • Hemoglobin (Hb):  12 – 16 gm/dL
  • Hematocrit (Hct):  40 – 50%
  • Red Blood Cells:  4 – 6 millions/mL
  • White Blood Cells:  5,000 – 10,000 millions/mL
  • Creatinine:  0.7 – 1.3 mg/dL
  • Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN):  8 – 25 mg/dL
  • Prothrombin Time:  11 – 15 seconds
  • Platelet Count:  150,000 – 400,000 units
  • Troponin: < 0.4 ng/mL
  • Brain Natriuretic Peptide (BNP): < 100 pg/mL

Electrolyte Values:

  • Sodium (Na+):  135 – 145 mEq/L
  • Chloride (Cl+):  80 – 100 mEq/L
  • Potassium (K+):  3.5 – 4.5 mEq/L

Ventilatory Values:

  • Tidal Volume (VT):  > 5 mL/kg
  • Vital Capacity (VC):  65 – 75 mL/kg
  • Minute Ventilation (VE):  5 – 8 L/min
  • Mean Airway Pressure (MAP):  5 – 10 cmH2O
  • Maximum Inspiratory Pressure (MIP):  > -20 cmH2O
  • Maximum Expiratory Pressure (MEP):  > +40 cmH2O
  • Rapid Shallow Breathing Index (RSBI):  < 100
  • Deadspace-to-Tidal-Volume Ratio (VD/VT):  < 60%
  • Anatomic Deadspace:  1 mL/pound of IBW
  • Cuff Pressure: 25 – 35 cmH2O
  • Capnography: 3 – 5 %
  • Intracranial Pressure (ICP): 5 – 10 mmHg

Hemodynamic Monitoring Values:

  • Cardiac Output:  4 – 8 L/min
  • Central Venous Pressure (CVP):  2 – 6 mmHg
  • Cardiac Index:  2 – 4 L/min/m2
  • Stroke Volume:  50 – 100 mL/beat
  • Pulmonary Artery Pressure (PAP):  25/8 mmHg
  • Pulmonary Vascular Resistance (PVR):  200 dynes/sec/cm5
  • Systemic Vascular Resistance (SVR):  1400 dynes/sec/cm5
  • Pulmonary Capillary Wedge Pressure (PCWP):  5 – 10 mmHg
  • Mean Arterial Pressure (MAP):  93 mmHg
  • Urine Output: 40 mL/hour

Oxygenation Normal Values:

  • SpO2:  > 93%
  • PAO2:  95 – 100 mmHg on room air
  • PaO2/FiO2 Ratio:  > 380
  • Shunt (Qs/Qt):  3 – 5%
  • CaO2:  17 – 20 vol%
  • CvO2:  12 – 16 vol%
  • C(a-v)O2:  4 – 5 vol%
  • PetCO2:  25 – 35 mmHg
  • Oxygenation Index (OI):  < 10

Pulmonary Function Testing Normal Values:

  • FEV1:  > 80% of predicted
  • FEV1/FVC%:  ≥ 70%
  • Forced Vital Capacity (FVC):  > 80% of predicted
  • Slow Vital Capacity (SVC):  > 80% of predicted
  • Airway Resistance (RAW):  0.6 – 2.4 cmH2O/L/sec
  • Diffusing Capacity for Carbon Monoxide (DLCO):  20 – 25 mL/CO/min/mmHg
  • Peak Expiratory Flow Rate (PEFR):  10 L/sec
  • Exhaled Carbon Monoxide: < 7 for nonsmokers

Initial Ventilator Settings Normal Values:

  • Tidal Volume:  5 – 10 mL/kg of the patient’s ideal body weight (IBW)
  • Frequency:  10 – 20 breaths/min.
  • FiO2:  30 – 60% or the FiO2 they were previously on
  • Flow Rate:  40 – 60 L/min
  • I:E Ratio:  1:2 – 1:4
  • Sensitivity:  -1 to -2 cmH2O
  • PEEP:  4 – 6 cmH2O

Infant Normal Values:

  • Heart Rate:  110 – 160 beats/min
  • Respiratory Rate:  30 – 60 breaths/min
  • Oxygen Saturation (SpO2): > 90%
  • Blood Pressure:  60/40 mmHg
  • Blood Glucose:  > 30 mg/dL
  • Gestation Age:  40 weeks
  • APGAR Score:  7 – 10
  • Birth Weight:  ≥ 3,000 grams
  • L/S Ratio:  ≥ 2:1
  • Silverman Anderson Score:  0 – 1

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Final Thoughts

So there you have it. You now have access to all the normal values that you must know, not only for Respiratory Therapy School, but for the board exams as well.

Now it’s up to you to learn this information. I definitely recommend that you go through the normal values several times until the it sticks.

Your future self will thank you, especially once it’s time to take the board exams. Thank you so much for reading and as always, breathe easy my friend. 

References

The following are the sources that were used while doing research for this article:

  • —. Egan’s Fundamentals of Respiratory Care. 11th ed., Mosby, 2016. [Link]
  • —. Clinical Application of Mechanical Ventilation. 4th ed., Cengage Learning, 2013. [Link]
  • —. Respiratory Care Calculations. 4th ed., rtexam, 2018. [Link]
  • “Interpretation of Arterial Blood Gas.” PubMed Central (PMC), 14 Apr. 2010, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2936733.

Disclosure: The links to the textbooks are affiliate links which means, at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.