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Conference Sessions Lecture & Presentation on the Fifth Vital Sign: End-Tidal Carbon Dioxide (ETCO2)

  • Date/Time January 19, 2024 8:30am - 10:00am
  • Room San Simeon B
  • Presenter Amaury J Agoncillo
  • CEU Credits 1.5


Learning Objectives for “End-tidal CO2: The Fifth Vital Sign” Presentation

By the end of this presentation, participants should be able to:

1. Define and Describe: Understand the basic concept of end-tidal CO2 (EtCO2) and its physiological significance.

2. Recognize Importance: Articulate why EtCO2 is being referred to as the “fifth vital sign” and its relevance in modern healthcare.

3. Measurement Techniques: Identify the different methods and equipment used to measure EtCO2 in clinical settings.

4. Interpretation of Values: Demonstrate an ability to interpret EtCO2 readings and understand their implications concerning a patient’s health status.

5. Clinical Significance: Recognize the conditions and scenarios where monitoring EtCO2 can be particularly useful, such as during procedural sedation, in critically ill patients, or for those with respiratory disorders.

6. Comparative Analysis: Differentiate EtCO2 from other respiratory measurements, understanding the unique insights it provides compared to other vital signs.

7. Potential Challenges: Be aware of potential challenges or pitfalls in measuring and interpreting EtCO2, including any technical or physiological factors that might affect accuracy.

8. Patient Safety: Understand the role of EtCO2 monitoring in enhancing patient safety, especially during procedures that affect respiratory function or metabolism.

9. Future Perspectives: Discuss the evolving role of EtCO2 in healthcare, including new research findings, emerging technologies, and potential future applications.

10. Case Studies: Analyze real-life clinical scenarios where EtCO2 monitoring played a crucial role, reinforcing the concepts discussed during the presentation.

By structuring your presentation around these learning objectives, you can ensure a comprehensive understanding of the topic and encourage a thorough grasp of the material by your audience.

Session Abstract

Abstract: The Fifth Vital Sign – Understanding End-Tidal Carbon Dioxide Monitoring

Traditionally, vital signs have included temperature, pulse, respiration, and blood pressure. Recently, the monitoring of End-Tidal Carbon Dioxide (ETCO2) has emerged as the so-called “fifth vital sign.” Clinically, ETCO2 serves as an invaluable tool, indicating adequate ventilation, assessing metabolic states, and monitoring patients during sedation and anesthesia. Several factors can influence ETCO2 levels, such as changes in metabolic rates, pulmonary blood flow alterations, and variations in ventilation patterns. The interpretation of capnography waveforms provides critical insights into conditions like bronchospasm, esophageal intubation, and hypoventilation due to drug overdose. ETCO2 monitoring offers real-time data, is non-invasive, and provides instantaneous feedback during resuscitation. However, it is not without challenges, including potential equipment malfunction and artifacts. In conclusion, as the role of ETCO2 monitoring continues to grow in clinical settings, it underscores the need for healthcare professionals to enhance their knowledge and skills in this vital area.

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