The use of end-tidal carbon dioxide monitoring to confirm the correct placement of a tracheal tube immediately after intubation is mandatory in the operating theatre. Tracheal intubation in critically ill patients can be challenging. Quick and accurate confirmation of tracheal tube placement is essential to minimise complications. This survey explored the use of end-tidal carbon dioxide monitoring to confirm tracheal tube placement in intensive care units in the UK. Questionnaires were sent to either the lead clinician or clinical director of randomly selected general adult intensive care units. One hundred and twenty-seven replies were received from the 215 questionnaires sent (response rate 59%). Twenty per cent of the units did not have an end-tidal carbon dioxide monitor, 20% had one end-tidal carbon dioxide monitor per bed and 60% had one end-tidal carbon dioxide monitor between several beds. Only 50% of the units having an end-tidal carbon dioxide monitor use it to confirm correct tracheal tube placement. Of these 50%, only about a third use it for every intubation. Seventy-two per cent of respondents felt that end-tidal carbon dioxide is well suited to confirm correct placement of tracheal tube in critically ill patients, but 50% did not think that confirmation using end-tidal carbon dioxide should be mandatory for intubations outside the operating theatre. Half of the units not having end-tidal a carbon dioxide monitor cited lack of resources as a reason. In summary, although four in every five intensive care units surveyed have end-tidal carbon dioxide monitors, only a small proportion use them to confirm correct placement of tracheal tube after intubation.
|Number of pages||4|
|Publication status||Published - 1 May 2003|