End-tidal capnography equipment gives more than just another number drawn up by paramedics. End-tidal capnographic monitoring devices are appearing with increasing frequency in acute care settings, but they have actually been around for years. Did you know that the American Society of Anesthesiologists found that monitoring carbon dioxide with a pulse oximeter could prevent more than 90% of anesthesia accidents? An end-tidal capnography device is a non-invasive method of monitoring a patient's carbon dioxide levels. End-tidal capnography monitoring devices work closely with pulse oximeters to help monitor a patient's respiratory status. So how to use end tidal capnography monitoring device?
In healthy individuals without pre-existing lung disease, carbon dioxide tells a person's body to breathe. When CO2 levels rise, it signals the brain to breathe. End-tidal capnography monitoring devices can provide real-time breathing results to understand the patient's CO2 level. This is why end-tidal capnography devices are sometimes called "ventilatory vital signs". Because it can tell healthcare providers how efficiently a patient is breathing. Pulse oximeters have been used for years to help healthcare providers monitor patients' breathing. What is the difference between a pulse oximeter and an end-tidal capnography device? A pulse oximeter monitors a patient's blood oxygen levels. In contrast, end-tidal capnography devices measure a patient's carbon dioxide levels. Essentially, pulse oximeters help measure the oxygen delivered to the body. However, end-tidal capnography devices help measure how much carbon dioxide is being used in the body.
Exhaled capnography monitoring equipment has been used as the standard of care in the operating room for many years. More recently, it has seen increased use in other healthcare settings, both inside and outside of hospitals. Some of the areas where end-tidal CO2 monitoring devices are beginning to be used more include: ambulance services, emergency departments, procedural nursing units, post-operative units, intensive care units. These areas may use capnography for different reasons. However, each of them saw improved patient outcomes with ETCO2 monitoring.