Skip Navigation LinksHome > May 2003 - Volume 14 - Issue 2 > Capnography Application in Acute and Critical Care
AACN Clinical Issues: Advanced Practice in Acute & Critical Care:
Article

Capnography Application in Acute and Critical Care

Ahrens, Tom DNS, RN, CCRN, CS; Sona, Carrie MSN, RN, CCRN, CS

Section Editor(s): Headley, Jan M. RN, BS; Leeper, Barbara MN, RN, CCRN; Von Rueden, Kathryn Truter RN, MS, FCCM

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Abstract

The use of capnography has expanded over recent years. Currently, capnography is used in a variety of acute care settings. This article describes what capnography is and how it is used. The normal and abnormal capnogram or waveforms are described to assist in identifying various clinical situations. The multiplicity of clinical indications include detection of pulmonary embolism as well as malpositioned endotracheal/tracheal, gastric, and small bowel tubes. Capnography also provides clinicians with information regarding expiratory breathing patterns and assists in perfusion assessments such as those for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Finally, case studies are provided to help the reader apply the concepts of capnography to a variety of acute care settings.

© Copyright 2003 American Association of Critical-Care Nurses

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