Explain that the medication they will be given can make their breathing slow or shallow. Explain that a capnography monitor will alert clinicians to small changes in breathing before any problems can occur. Because the patient may be sedated, it is also important to educate family or friends who are present.
Let your patients and their family members know that alarms alert clinicians to a change in breathing. Explain that alarms can serve as a reminder to the patient to take a few deep breaths if they are awake.
Routine post-surgical activity, like sipping water or eating ice chips, does not interfere with monitoring.
Generally, patients will be monitored until the physician believes there is no longer a risk of slow or shallow breathing. This period depends on the type and duration of medication prescribed, as well as the patient’s response to the medication.