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Monitoring of end tidal carbon dioxide and transcutaneous carbon dioxide during neonatal transport


Objective: To assess the accuracy of measurements of end tidal carbon dioxide (CO2) during neonatal transport compared with arterial and transcutaneous measurements.

Design: Paired end tidal and transcutaneous CO2 recordings were taken frequently during road transport of 21 ventilated neonates. The first paired CO2 values were compared with an arterial blood gas. The differences between arterial CO2 (Paco2), transcutaneous CO2 (TcPco2), and end tidal CO2 (Petco2) were analysed. The Bland-Altman method was used to assess bias and repeatability.

Results: Petco2 correlated strongly with Paco2 and TcPco2. However, Petco2 underestimated Paco2 at a clinically unacceptable level (mean (SD) 1.1 (0.70) kPa) and did not trend reliably over time within individual subjects. The Petco2 bias was independent of Paco2 and severity of lung disease.

Conclusions: Petco2 had an unacceptable under-recording bias. TcPco2 should currently be considered the preferred method of non-invasive CO2 monitoring for neonatal transport.

  • Paco2, arterial partial pressure of carbon dioxide
  • TcPco2, transcutaneous partial pressure of carbon dioxide
  • Petco2, end tidal partial pressure of carbon dioxide
  • NETS, Newborn Emergency Transport Service (Victoria)
  • PAo2/Pao2 ratio, alveolar-arterial oxygen tension ratio
  • transportation
  • carbon dioxide
  • monitoring
  • mechanical ventilation

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