Continuous end-tidal carbon dioxide monitoring in pediatric intensive care units

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Abstract

Purpose

End-tidal carbon dioxide (ETCO2) monitoring has a variety of clinical applications in critically ill pediatric patients. This study was designed to explore the current availability and utilization patterns for continuous ETCO2 monitoring in pediatric intensive care units.

Methods

A Web-based survey was distributed to directors of all accredited pediatric critical care fellowship programs in the United States.

Results

Sixty-six percent of directors completed this survey. One hundred percent of directors had access to ETCO2 monitoring for intubated patients and 57% for nonintubated patients. Eighty-three percent of respondents used ETCO2 monitoring “always” or “often” for endotracheal tube confirmation. Fifty percent of respondents used ETCO2 monitoring “always” or “often” for cardiopulmonary resuscitation, 38% for moderate sedation, and 5% for acid-base disturbances. All respondents who used ETCO2 monitoring felt that it was easy to use. The most common reason for not using ETCO2 monitoring was lack of availability (75%).

Conclusions

End-tidal carbon dioxide monitoring is widely available and used for intubated patients. However, it could be applied more frequently in other clinical situations in pediatric intensive care units.

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