End-tidal CO2 monitoring in the pre-hospital environment: more than just endotracheal tube placement confirmation

Ambulance clinicians can encounter critically ill and injured patients in many unpredictable and challenging environments. The delivery of care and optimising use of all available equipment is essential. Effective measurement and interpretation of end-tidal CO2 (ETCO2) monitoring in relation to a patient's clinical state may be one of the most valuable and potentially underused tools available to pre-hospital clinicians.This article will highlight the benefit of ETCO2 monitoring in the pre-hospital field beyond endotracheal tube placement confirmation. It will discuss the importance of ETCO2 and how it is used in other healthcare settings. An overview will also be given to the devices used and how they work. It will conclude that ETCO2 is a powerful tool which needs to be used, understood and embraced by pre-hospital clinicians.

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