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I work in Endoscopy and we started using capnography last week. We had a quick (10 minutes) education on it. We were first told by our educator to look for numbers of 30 to 43 for a normal range. We were also told to look at the wave form. The anesthesiologist told us not to look at the numbers so much but to look at only the wave form. They also told us to remember to always look at the patient first. (Thats fine but my patient that had a blood pressure of 220/110 consistently looked and felt just fine. We all still have a lot of questions, but we have to use for every conscious sedation case.
we have been using capnography now for about 3 years and it is another tool. it works great for watching ventilations and is a great predictor of hypoventilation and apnea. i think it is better in the arena of propofol rather than versed/fentanyl. i agree with the anestheologists. it is not what the numbers are but that there is a wave form. the taller the better.
ETCO2 is an awesome tool, I've been using on the ambulance for more than 10 years. The main reason it is so good is the pulse ox saturation curve, is a curve. In other words there is not a direct line in hypoventilation and a fall in pulse ox. Not so with CO2, as resps fall, CO2 rises in a straight line. Look for a diagram that transposes the two, and you'll see...