Physiology and Technical Aspects of ETCO2 Monitoring

Don’t treat the numbers!

ETCO2 is mainly determined by the:

1) Amount of perfusion to the lungs

2) CO2 concentration in the blood

Poor perfusion to the lungs (deadspace) will cause a disparity between the numerical ETCO2, and what the actual arterial CO2 concentration is. 

So, ETCO2 MUST be interpreted in light of the patients pathophysiological state. 

Papers mentioned in the podcast:

The Effectiveness of Oxygen Delivery and Reliability of Carbon Dioxide Waveforms: A Crossover Comparison of 4 Nasal Cannulae

Most accurate method of measuring ETCO2 during non-invasive ventilation

PHEMCAST episode on ETCO2

ACC/AHA recommendation on using ETCO2 as a marker of evaluating systemic perfusion in patients with assist devices

Now for the podcast!


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