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[Gr. kapnos, smoke + -graphy]
Continuous recording of the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in inhaled and exhaled air. Measurements of the level of (CO2) are used to ensure that airway adjuncts (such as endotracheal tubes) are correctly placed in the trachea (and not in the esophagus) of a mechanically ventilated patient.
The American Heart Association 2010 Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) Guidelines recommend the use of continuous quantitative waveform capnography in all patients who have suffered cardiac arrest to evaluate both the quality of chest compressions and to indicate the return of a patient's spontaneous circulation.