Visit any first aid class around the world, and one of the first things they will talk about is the ABC's of Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). These include opening the airway, assessing the victim's breathing and checking for circulation or a pulse. Even though this assessment takes seconds, it allows bystanders to spring into action when they are needed. It may be common knowledge that a person needs an airway, breathing, and circulation to stay alive, but the nuances of these basic functions become important as life saving measures get underway.
Breathe In, Breathe Out
When you breathe, you take oxygen into your lungs where it passes through smaller and smaller tubes until it appropriately oxygenates your blood. In an instant, the body goes from acquiring oxygen to eliminating respiration byproducts in the form of carbon dioxide. Thousands of times a day, without even thinking about it, we breathe in and out, oxygenating our bloodstream and eliminating harmful waste products. Yet, when a person goes into sudden cardiac arrest and stops breathing, they not only don't get enough oxygen they cannot effectively eliminate CO2. As tempting as it may be to only measure the oxygen going into a person's body, the carbon dioxide leaving their body is also a vital measurement.
CO2 Sample Lines
CO2 sample lines are the most effective way to measure both the oxygen entering the body and the carbon dioxide leaving the body. The dual nasal cannula design uses one tube to measure inspiration and the other to measure expiration, helping those performing lifesaving protocols to effectively treat the patient. Connecting these lines to a defibrillator allows one machine to not only monitor and pace the patient's heart but also monitor their breathing as well. Dual functionality eliminates the need for a secondary machine to measure respiration, allowing for more movement in the often crowded hospital and clinic rooms.