A recent study conducted by the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust in the United Kingdom interviewed staff at 27 paediatric and 129 neonatal intensive care units across the country. The study found that less than half of specialist baby units in the UK had the equipment to measure carbon dioxide coming from the lungs. The researchers also found that without proper monitoring, death or serious harm during intubation had occurred in 26% of the neonatal units and 19% of the paediatric units in the past five years. Read about the study here on the BBC website.
It is with this research in mind that we are introducing end-tidal carbon dioxide (etCO2) monitoring on our most advanced ventilator, the SLE6000.
The levels of end tidal carbon dioxide in neonates can now be monitored via a ‘plug-and-play’ external Microstream™ MicroPod™ device. A sampling line is connected into the patient circuit near the ET tube and continuous side-stream micro samples of gas are taken from the patient’s breath. These samples are analysed by the MicroPod and the data from the analysis is fed back into the SLE6000 to display real-time etCO2 measurements and the capnogram waveform on-screen. It is a ‘plug-and-play’ style device because set-up is as easy as plugging-in the device then activating the etCO2 monitoring software module on the ventilator screen, and the readings will begin to appear.
Continuous etCO2 monitoring gives a good indication of the health of the new-born as it is a close representation of arterial CO2 pressures and reflects metabolism, pulmonary perfusion and circulation. Monitoring etCO2 levels with the MicroPod on the SLE6000 is an uninterrupted, real-time and non-invasive approximation of blood carbon dioxide levels, which when monitored can prevent extreme hypocarbia, hypercarbia and chronic lung disease in preterm infants by looking for early signs of respiratory distress.
This method of blood gas monitoring is especially advantageous with new-born and neonatal babies as accurate measurements can be taken from very low flow rates (only 50 ml/m) allowing effective readings even from the smallest of patients. This technology also reduces the requirement for constant arterial blood sampling, which is stressful for the new-born and can be misleading as blood gas levels may change extensively between samples.
The release of etCO2 monitoring comes alongside a series of updates to the SLE6000 which we have bundled together to create the Version 2 software. Read all about the Version 2 software in our blog post here.
For more information about the Covidien Microstream click here: Medtronic.com