Many physicians who have not at hand a laboratory equipped for gas analysis often find it necessary to know the condition of the blood regarding its acid-base balance or alkali reserve in cases of suspected acidosis, and would welcome a reliable method that could be carried out in the office. Even in hospitals with fully equipped laboratories, it is sometimes necessary to obtain this knowledge quickly and with certainty at times when the gas analyst is not available, especially at night.
In the chemical laboratory at the Pasadena Hospital, I have developed such a method, by carrying it out coincidently with the Van Slyke1 carbon dioxide percentage by volume estimation, in 100 consecutive cases each year for three successive years. From the results thus obtained, I have prepared a table of values, and when time was a factor, this rapid and simple yet reliable method was often employed.
The method, a modification of Sellards'2 for estimating the carbonate content, is simply a qualitative