No Trace, Wrong Place
A flat capnograph trace means there is no ventilation of the lungs: the tube is either not in the trachea or the airway is completely obstructed.The use and correct interpretation of capnography improves patient safety in all areas where artificial airways are used, including anaesthetic rooms and theatres, recovery areas, the emergency department, critical care units and during transfers.
Capnography during Cardiac ArrestDuring cardiac arrest, ventilation with or without chest compressions leads to an attenuated but visible expired CO2 trace, as demonstrated in this video and shown in the illustration below. Good quality chest compressions will minimise the degree of attenuation by optimising the cardiac output and is a good measure of chest compression effectiveness. A sharp rise in expired CO2 trace is an adequate ”sign of life” to stop chest compressions and perform a pulse check. Attenuated capnography trace during cardiac arrest
The Global Capnography Project
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- T. M. Cook F. E. Kelly A. Goswami. Hats and caps’ capnography training on intensive care. Aanesthesia. March 2013
- Jooste R, Roberts F, Mndolo S, Mabedi D, Chikumbanje S, Whitaker DK, O’Sullivan EP. Global Capnography Project (GCAP): implementation of capnography in Malawi – an international anaesthesia quality improvement project. Anaesthesia. 2019 Feb;74(2):158-166. doi: 10.1111/anae.14426. Epub 2018 Sep 25
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