Respiratory Monitoring - An Introduction to Pulse Ox and Capnography

Respiratory Monitoring - An Introduction to Pulse Ox and Capnography

First a bit of physics....

Both pulse oximetry and capnometry rely on the Beer-Lambert Law. 

  • In 1760, Johann Heinreich Lambert proved that the absorbance of light through a material is proportional to the thickness of the material.  
  • In 1852, August Beer proved that the absorbance of light through a material is proportional to the concentration of the attenuating substance in the material.
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The Glories of End Tidal CO2

The Glories of End Tidal CO2

If you were to choose one vital sign for your critically ill patient, what would you choose?  Blood pressure?  Pulse?  Respiratory rate?  O2 sat? Temperature? Certainly it’s nice to know if a patient’s BP is super low or sky high, but if you are evaluating someone for the presence of shock, and you are waiting on the BP cuff to cycle one more time, you are already behind in recognizing and correcting the patient’s physiologic derangements.

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Lessons in Transport - Post-Intubation Checklists

Lessons in Transport - Post-Intubation Checklists

Post-Intubation Checklists

Making a checklist can help cognitively unload you in high stakes and high pressure situations.  Post-intubation consider the following important points:

Protecting the Tube

  • Continuous wave form ETCO2... each and every time

  • Secure Endotracheal Tube at the appropriate depth (See LIT week 6)

  • Analgesia and Sedation

  • Restraints... Do you know where the soft restraints are stored?

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