SOCMOB How To: Make Your Own End-Tidal CO2 Detector


The ASA now recommends that all procedural sedations (not conscious sedations!) be done with quantitative waveform capnography. While I understand it’s not feasible in some places, capnography is a hugely valuable tool, and detects apnea long before the pulse ox reading drops.

Where I work, there are no fancy nasal prongs or face masks with built in CO2 detectors, so in order to get a capnograph, some improvisation is needed.

An anesthesia resident helped me with this idea, as did Minh Le Cong’s great 4 minute video on MacGyvering an End-tidal CO2 detector on the SMACC website (link below).  Thanks to both Kyle Raab and Minh for the idea.   After posting this initially, Jeremy Field made the simple but brilliant suggestion of just cutting off the ETT adapter part of the ETCO2 detector to improve the design.   So, I’ve made a new video showing this and replaced the old one.

For all the Saskatchewan docs and other ED people out there, this video shows you how to make a Microstream Sidestream ETCO2 detector work with your nasal prongs, face mask or non-rebreather device.  I receive no payment from, nor do I have any affiliation with this product, it’s simply what is available in our ED.

Over the next while I’ll be releasing more “SOCMOB How To” videos.  Click here to go straight to YouTube video or if it isn’t working below.  Enjoy!

If you enjoyed this video, like it, tweet it, etc. and spread the #FOAMed.  If you didn’t like it, send me suggestions on how to improve.

Here are the links for Minh Le Cong’s video, as well as his great PHARM (Pre Hospital and Retrieval Medicine) website/podcast.

In other news, SOCMOB has joined forces with BoringEM, ERmentor and Want2BeMD in a University of Saskatchewan FOAM collaborative.  Check out all of their great FOAM here.


Chris Bond