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Capnometry in the prehospital setting: are we using its potential?
  1. Dejan Kupnik1,
  2. Pavel Skok2
  1. 1Center for Emergency Medicine, Prehospital Unit, Ulica talcev 9, Maribor, Slovenia
  2. 2General and Teaching Hospital Maribor, Clinical Department of Internal Medicine, Department of Gastroenterology and Endoscopy, Maribor, Slovenia
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dejan Kupnik
 MD, Cesta proletarskih brigad 62, 2000 Maribor, Slovenia; dejan.kupnik{at}


Capnometry is a non-invasive monitoring technique which allows fast and reliable insight into ventilation, circulation, and metabolism. In the prehospital setting it is mainly used to confirm correct tracheal tube placement. In addition it is a useful indicator of efficient ongoing cardiopulmonary resuscitation due to its correlation with cardiac output, and successful resuscitation. It helps to confirm the diagnosis of pulmonary thromboembolism and to sustain adequate ventilation in mechanically ventilated patients. In patients with haemorrhage, capnometry provides improved continuous haemodynamic monitoring, insight into adequacy of tissue perfusion, optimisation within current hypotensive fluid resuscitation strategy, and prevention of shock progression through controlled fluid administration.

  • CO2, carbon dioxide
  • CPR, cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • Paco2, alveolar carbon dioxide partial pressure
  • Paco2, arterial carbon dioxide partial pressure
  • Petco2, end tidal carbon dioxide partial pressure
  • Pvco2, venous carbon dioxide partial pressure

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  • Funding: None.

  • Conflicts of interest: None declared.

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