Objective: To explore the accuracy of a continuous transcutaneous CO2 (T(CCO2)) monitor, used in an intermittent rather than a continuous fashion, to obtain quick (<5 mins) CO2 readings.
Design: Prospective study.
Setting: An urban pediatric intensive care unit in a university teaching hospital.
Patients: A convenience sample of pediatric patients with indwelling arterial catheters.
Intervention: Transcutaneous monitoring was done simultaneous with arterial blood gas monitoring.
Measurements and main results: There were 49 simultaneous-readings on 19 patients, age 5 days to 16 years, with 13 different diagnoses. The T(CCO2) was related to the PCO2 by a Pearson product coefficient of 0.79 (p<.0005), with a mean difference of 1.94 (T(CCO2)>P(CO2) and 95% confidence interval of -0.12 to 4.07. The scatterplot produces a regression line characterized by the following equation: PCO2 = (T(CCO2)x1.05)-4.08.
Conclusions: Further study to evaluate intermittent TCCO2 as a practical clinical variable is warranted. This study should encourage refinement of the technology to be more accurate for this use.