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My lecturer cites Boron and Boulpaep's Medical Physiology (2nd edition) for the following claims:

  • the total $\ce{CO2}$ content of arterial blood is $26.4$ mmol/L or $48\%$ v/v (not sure if these numbers convert)
  • including $90\%$ as bicarbonate, $5\%$ as dissolved gas and 5% as carbamino compounds (specifically carbaminohaemoglobin)
  • the arterial partial pressure of $\ce{CO2}$ is $40$mmHg

How does one get from the arterial partial pressure value to determining these proportions and figures?

What I've tried: Henry solubility constant for $\ce{CO2}$ in water, equilibrium constants for the hydration of $\ce{CO2}$, ionisation of carbonic acid, assumed carbaminohaemoglobin formation went to completion and only consumed $\ce{CO2(aq)}$. Still don't seem to completely match my lecturer's figures.

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Even when Douglas equation has been criticized is the best approach I know to calculate CO2 content. You can calculate plasma CO2 content and total blood CO2 content

Douglas 1988 (DOI: 10.1152/jappl.1988.65.1.473)

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    $\begingroup$ It's great to have the DOI to a reference, but can you summarize its contents? Otherwise, this doesn't answer the question. $\endgroup$ – pentavalentcarbon Jan 17 '18 at 14:28

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