The World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists Minimum Capnometer Specifications 2021-A Guide for Health Care Decision Makers

Anesth Analg. 2021 Nov 1;133(5):1132-1137. doi: 10.1213/ANE.0000000000005682.


Capnometry, the measurement of respiratory carbon dioxide, is regarded as a highly recommended safety technology in intubated and nonintubated sedated and/or anesthetized patients. Its utility includes confirmation of initial and ongoing placement of an airway device as well as in detecting gas exchange, bronchospasm, airway obstruction, reduced cardiac output, and metabolic changes. The utility applies prehospital and throughout all phases of inhospital care. Unfortunately, capnometry devices are not readily available in many countries, especially those that are resource-limited. Constraining factors include cost, durability of devices, availability of consumables, lack of dependable power supply, difficulty with cleaning, and maintenance. There is, thus, an urgent need for all stakeholders to come together to develop, market, and distribute appropriate devices that address costs and other requirements. To foster this process, the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists (WFSA) has developed the "WFSA-Minimum Capnometer Specifications 2021." The intent of the specifications is to set the minimum that would be acceptable from industry in their attempts to reduce costs while meeting other needs in resource-constrained regions. The document also includes very desirable and preferred options. The intent is to stimulate interest and engagement among industry, clinical providers, professional associations, and ministries of health to address this important patient safety need. The WFSA-Minimum Capnometer Specifications 2021 is based on the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) capnometer specifications. While industry is familiar with such specifications and their presentation format, most clinicians are not; therefore, this article serves to more clearly explain the requirements. In addition, the specifications as described can be used as a purchasing guide by clinicians.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesiology / economics
  • Anesthesiology / instrumentation*
  • Anesthesiology / standards
  • Blood Gas Monitoring, Transcutaneous / economics
  • Blood Gas Monitoring, Transcutaneous / instrumentation*
  • Blood Gas Monitoring, Transcutaneous / standards
  • Carbon Dioxide / metabolism*
  • Equipment Design
  • Health Care Costs
  • Health Services Accessibility / economics
  • Humans
  • Monitoring, Intraoperative / economics
  • Monitoring, Intraoperative / instrumentation*
  • Monitoring, Intraoperative / standards
  • Societies, Medical


  • Carbon Dioxide