ACLS New Guidelines for 2011 and Capnography
The new ACLS guidelines recommend the use of quantitative waveform capnography for confirmation and monitoring of endotracheal tube placement. The continuous measurement provides the partial pressure of carbon dioxide in mm Hg over time. Individuals requiring endotracheal intubation are at risk of tube displacement during transport and transfer and the continuous waveform capnography reflects any changes. The capnography also provides a monitor of effective chest compressions. The return of spontaneous circulation is sometimes difficult to assess and is clearly demonstrated on the capnography measurements by an abrupt increase in the CO2 reading.
The readers are referred to physiology section of this website to understand the relationship between cardiac output and end tidal CO2.