[Answer] A patient enters the emergency department in respiratory compromise. The team is monitoring the patient using capnography and identifies that ETCO2 levels are initially 33 mmHg and later 40 mmHg. From these readings the team identifies that the patient is progressing in what stage of respiratory compromise?

Answer: Capnography can objectively assess the severity of a patient’s respiratory distress. Early on the patient will often hyperventilate leading to hypocapnia that is reflected by a low ETCO2 value (less than 35 mmHg). As respiratory distress increases and the patient begins to tire the ETCO2 value may return to the normal range (35 to 45 mmHg). However if the patient progresses to respiratory failure the ETCO2 level will increase to greater than 45 mmHg which indicates hypoventilation.
A patient enters the emergency department in respiratory compromise. The team is monitoring the patient using capnography and identifies that ETCO2 levels ar…

Leave a Reply