ETCO2 (End-tidal CO2) is the level of carbon dioxide released at the end of an exhaled breath (expiration). Carbon dioxide (CO2) reflects cardiac output and pulmonary blood flow as the gas is transported by the venous system to the heart and then pumped to the lungs. CO2 concentration reaches a maximum at the end of exhalation. When CO2 diffuses out of the lungs into the exhaled air, the partial pressure or maximal concentration of the gas at the end of exhalation can be measured. ETCO2 is this measured value.
Its vital to be able to monitor and measure ETCO2 because changes in carbon dioxide levels can indicate hypoxia, a pathological condition in which a region of the body (or the body as a whole) is deprived of oxygen. If hypoxia occurs, irreversible brain damage can be the result.
ETCO2 a very important value to monitor. A high ETCO2 reading in a patient with altered mental status or severe difficulty breathing may indicate hypoventilation and a possible need for the patient to be intubated. Low ETCO2 readings on patients may indicate hyperventilation.
ETCO2 in Capnography and Capnographs:
Capnography is the process of monitoring carbon dioxide (specifically ETCO2) in exhaled breath. The working mechanisms used to perform capnography are called capnographs.
The ETCO2 app helps develop the knowledge about ETCO2 and various capnographs, and can be a useful tool for learning. The App shows the graphs for Apnea, Hyperventilation and Hypoventilation. It also shows capnographs for various medical conditions which are encountered treatment.
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