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A Comprehensive Educational Website (established 1998)

Designed, Produced, and maintained (Edition 12, 2022) by 

Bhavani Shankar Kodali MD

Updated September 2022

Welcome to for learning capnography


Capnography is synonymous with patient safety during anesthesia and sedation, and a boon during CPR
Since the introduction of the first infrared CO2 measuring and recording apparatus by Luft in 1943, capnography has evolved into an essential component of standard anesthesia monitoring armamentarium.

The primary goal of anesthesiologists is to prevent hypoxia, and capnography helps to identify situations that can lead to hypoxia if uncorrected. Moreover, it also helps in the swift differential diagnosis of hypoxia before hypoxia leads to irreversible brain damage.

Because of these advantages, the utility of capnography has recently been extended outside of the operating room arena to emergency rooms, endoscopic suites, x-ray rooms, and even to on-site emergency and trauma fields. Therefore, a section for emergency personnel has been included.

The subject matter is divided into several sections. Users can double click on the section of their choice. Several animations are used to explain underlying concepts. Each section is also accompanied by 'highlights' for quick understanding. A section on 'Anesthesia breathing systems' has been recently included. There is also a section 'Capnomagic screen' where several capnograms are arranged by name around a central screen. Placing the mouse cursor over the capnogram title brings up the relevant tracing on the central screen. A quiz is included to allow users to gauge their levels of understanding and learning.

The search engine on this site facilitates finding information on topics of interest. It has become a very useful feature as the site has grown. Unlike a textbook, this site undergoes frequent updates to reflect current understanding and new concepts of capnography thus enhancing the breadth and depth of the subject matter.
Although capnography evolved from operating rooms, it is currently used by many health care providers outside of the operating room to enhance the safety of patients under their care. Today there is a need to provide specific information on capnography that is relevant to each specialty (Specialty Applications). 
In the last decade, noteworthy changes have occurred resulting in a wider appreciation of capnography by professions other than  anesthesiology. The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) and Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland (AAGBI) require capnography to be used to monitor ventilation during moderate to heavy sedation. In addition, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends using capnography to judge the effectiveness of chest compression during CPR. These changes have warranted the introduction of new sections and teaching modules within this educational site. American Academy of Pediatrics amended their monitoring guidelines to include capnography duirng sedation proceders.    

Keeping in line with the author’s philosophy, this site is available to everyone all over the world for free. This accessibility to information on capnography not only enhances the safety of patients across the globe but encourages health care personnel, engineers, and medical and technical students to create innovations in the field of capnography to enhance the safety of our patients. 

 Bhavani Shankar Kodali MD

Professor of Anesthesiology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA

Ahalya Kodali MD

Saint Louis Children's Hospital 

Dated October 2020