Learn how to distinguish three common waveforms: bronchospasm, hyperventilation and hypoventilation.
The capnography waveform can be compared to an ECG because the “normal” waveform has certain rules.
This is a hyperventilation waveform. Note the high RR and low EtCO2.
The hyperventilation waveform, related to an increased respiratory rate, will have a higher number of waveforms with a decreased height of the waveforms due to the presence of less CO2 per breath.
This is a bronchospasm waveform example. Note the shark-fin appearance.
EtCO2 sampling line
Always ensure your EtCO2 sampling line is properly inserted and secured in the monitor. Check this connection if your reading doesn't seem to correspond with your patient's condition.
This is a hypoventilation waveform. Note the low RR and high EtCO2 with a 0–100 scale.
Capnography should be carefully monitored in patients with acute myocardial infarction.
The bronchospastic capnography waveform is recognized by a shark-fin shape instead of the normal box-like waveform.
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