Why monitor ETCO2 (End-tidal Carbon Dioxide)?

author: Vivian Deng
Why monitor End-tidal Carbon Dioxide?
1. What is  the parameter of ETCO2?

End-Tidal Carbon Dioxide refers to the partial pressure or concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) at the end of exhalation.

The normal range for ETCO2 is between 32 and 42 mmHg, which is roughly 5%. Both the mainstream and sidestream ETCO2 sensors measure the patient’s CO2 from 0 to 150mmHg, or roughly 20%. They both measure respiration rates up to 150 breaths per minute. The accuracy range is as follows:

0-40mmHg ±2 mmHg
41-70mmHg  ±5% of reading
71-100mmHg  ±8% of reading
101-150mmHg  ±10% of reading

2. Why monitor ETCO2 (End-tidal Carbon Dioxide)?

End-tidal carbon dioxide (ETCO2)-the sixth vital sign. Besides body temperature, respiration, pulse, blood pressure and SpO2, ETCO2 is the sixth vital sign. It has special clinical significance for judging body metabolism, pulmonary ventilation, and pulmonary blood flow changes. It is widely applied in clinical anesthesia, cardiopulmonary cerebral resuscitation, pre-hospital first aid, intensive care post-anesthesia.

3. What can ETCO2 monitoring provide for the doctors and veterinarians?

a. Confirming the correct location for tracheal intubation.
b. Evaluating patient's ventilation function
c. Diagnosing and handling the mechanical failure of anesthesia machine and ventilator in time
d. Guiding the safe removal of the ventilator
e. Detecting cardiac arrest in time and guiding CPR
f. Metabolic monitoring to assist in the early diagnosis of malignant hyperthermia

4. How to choose a capnography patient monitor?

There are three types of capnograph monitors as below: 

A. Pulse Oximeter with capnograph monitor with SPO2, PR, ETCO2, FICO2 and RESP, just like the UPM60C handheld capnograph monitor. 

B. Multi-parameter monitors that includes capnography, just like the PM6000 12.1 inch vet patient monitor with the parameters of SPO2, NIBP, TEMP, ECG, RESP, PR, ETCO2.