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Non-invasive carbon dioxide monitoring in neonates: methods, benefits, and pitfalls.

  • Author(s): Sankaran, Deepika
  • Zeinali, Lida
  • Iqbal, Sameeia
  • Chandrasekharan, Praveen
  • Lakshminrusimha, Satyan
  • et al.

Wide fluctuations in partial pressure of carbon dioxide (PaCO2) can potentially be associated with neurological and lung injury in neonates. Blood gas measurement is the gold standard for assessing gas exchange but is intermittent, invasive, and contributes to iatrogenic blood loss. Non-invasive carbon dioxide (CO2) monitoring has become ubiquitous in anesthesia and critical care and is being increasingly used in neonates. Two common methods of non-invasive CO2 monitoring are end-tidal and transcutaneous. A colorimetric CO2 detector (a modified end-tidal CO2 detector) is recommended by the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR) and the American Academy of Pediatrics to confirm endotracheal tube placement. Continuous CO2 monitoring is helpful in trending PaCO2 in critically ill neonates on respiratory support and can potentially lead to early detection and minimization of fluctuations in PaCO2. This review includes a description of the various types of CO2 monitoring and their applications, benefits, and limitations in neonates.

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