Capnography in the Emergency Department
1Emergency Medicine, Apollo Health City, Hyderabad, India
With the technological advancement of emergency department care, excellent patient monitoring tools and equipment have been made available to emergency physicians. ETCO2 monitoring with digital capnometers and capnography graphs have become a standard of care for emergency patients.
Capnography is useful in many circumstances like assessing efficacy of CPR, monitoring of ventilated patients (within ER, and during intra & inter hospital transportation) and for pre-hospital resuscitation. It is also used for patient monitoring during procedural sedation.
Continuous monitoring using pulse oximetry plus ETCO2 capnography, is a powerful tool to predict the subtle presence as well as development of fatal conditions. Resuscitative interventions can be initiated faster and deterioration can prevented. Despite its ease of use and widespread availability, it is still not perceived to be a part of the emergency physician's armament.
Capnography should be implemented in every emergency department and should used as an adjunct to improve patient safety.