End-Tidal CO2 Detection

Whats it for?
After intubation CO2 detection confirms placement of an endotracheal tube in the airway.

How does it work?
Use a chemically-treated indicator strip.
At low levels the indicator turns purple.
At 2-5% it turns yellow.
A tan colour suggests the CO2 levels are lower than those in exhaled tracheal gases.

Is it accurate?
When gastric distention is present, pts may have high CO2 in their oesophagus.
- wait 6 breaths and this will clear.
- if still intermediate, wait another 6 breaths.
In cardiac arrest no CO2 is delivered
- will help determine adequacy of resuscitation.

Why do I need other tests for correct intubation?
It does not check for main stem bronchial intubation.
Physical and CXR are still required.