Advances in Capnography Sampling Lines Help You Improve Patient Comfort, Compliance, and Safety

Continuous monitoring helps minimize the threat of respiratory compromise for both patients and health systems. In some cases, however, patients may remove their capnography sampling line because of strong plastic odors, discomfort, or irritation.1

When patients don’t comply with prescribed monitoring, it’s harder for nurses to keep them safe. Providing the right sampling line to the right patient may make a difference. Medtronic recently launched Microstream™ Advance filter lines to help improve the patient experience.

Related: Find out how to get the most from your Microstream™ technology

What’s different about the Microstream™ Advance filter line portfolio?

We listened and learned from frontline hospital clinicians about the potential dangers patients face when they remove their capnography sampling lines. And we know this adds an extra obstacle to nurses’ routines.

We put that feedback into action that directly resulted in changes to this technology — all with the goal to improve patient experiences. The new Microstream™ Advance filter long-term lines include a dryer moisture reduction technology. The dryer technology is now located further down the tubing, away from the face, to minimize patient skin irritation.

Features of the Microstream™ technology you’ve come to rely on have been retained in the new design. Additional features include:

  • Quick-connect, kink-resistant tubing
  • Intubated and nonintubated options with sizes varying from neonate to adult

Uni-junction™ technology enables etCO2 sampling from either nares or the mouth for patients who switch their breathing methods.

Related: Watch how Microstream™ technology works and is designed to increase patient safety by providing you with an early indicator of respiratory compromise.

Comfort is healing: Microstream™ capnography sampling line intended patient benefits

We know it’s the little things that create the biggest impact for your patients: from the way a device feels on their skin to the sounds and smells in their rooms that remind them they are away from home. Keeping the patient focused on healing and less stressed about sampling line irritation may help support short- and long-term improved outcomes.

To help discourage patients from removing sampling lines, Microstream™ Advance filter line uses softer tubing that isn’t as abrasive on a patient’s skin. The sampling lines also have been redesigned with a neutral scent.

The new sampling lines are available in a variety of options — from neonate to adult — to help you choose the right line for the right patient. Options include:

  • Short-term intubated and nonintubated sampling lines
  • Long-term intubated and nonintubated sampling lines
  • OxyMask™* ETCO2 with Microstream™ connector

How can you benefit from the Microstream™ Advance sampling line portfolio?

The new portfolio may help nurses spend less time managing patients who might have otherwise removed the sampling line — freeing them to focus on other responsibilities.

The new capnography sampling line portfolio may lead to potential longer-term impacts on hospital scores as well. 2 Consider a cascading effect of nurses offering improved patient experiences. Patients in turn provide improved satisfaction scores and lead to promoters of a facility.

Additionally, our Microstream™ capnography monitoring portfolio offers the Smart Alarm for Respiratory Analysis™ algorithm (SARA). This distinct algorithm is engineered to help reduce nuisance alarms, which helps support nurses combat alarm fatigue.3

Why is this capnography sampling line portfolio important in helping to offer early alerts to respiratory compromise?

A major hurdle for some hospital clinicians is preventing respiratory compromise. On a medical-surgical floor, capnography and pulse oximetry monitoring may help detect respiratory compromise early.4,5 It’s important to have capnography sampling lines that are comfortable for patients to wear to ensure monitoring compliance.

When patients are recovering in a postoperative surgical ward, recovery and pain minimization are some of the top goals. Some may decline to wear a sampling line; when they are on pain medication this refusal may put these patients at unnecessary risk for respiratory compromise.

More than one quarter of acute respiratory events occur on the medical-surgical floor.6 With the updated sampling line technology, early detection with better monitoring may help nurses intervene before it’s too late.

Related: Should you monitor for opioid-induced respiratory depression? Read our blog for a summary of Dr. Ashish Khanna’s interview with the Society of Critical Care Medicine.

1. Andersen LW, Berg KM, Chase M, et al. Acute respiratory compromise on inpatient wards in the United States: Incidence, outcomes, and factors associated with in-hospital mortality. Resuscitation. 2016;105:123–129.
2. McKinsey & Company. A hospital system improves both patient care and employee satisfaction.
3. Colman J, Cohen J, Lain D. Smart Alarm Respiratory Analysis (SARA™) used in capnography to reduce alarms during spontaneous  breathing. Poster presented at: Society for Technology in Anesthesia (STA) annual meeting. San Diego, CA. January 16–19, 2008.
4. Wang HE, Abella BS, Callaway CW. Risk of cardiopulmonary arrest after acute respiratory compromise in hospitalized patients. Resuscitation. 2008;79(2):234–240.
5. Maddox RR, Williams CK, Oglesby H, Butler B, Fields M, Danello S. Clinical experience with patient-controlled analgesia using continuous respiratory monitoring and a smart infusion system. Am J Health-Syst Pharm. 2006; 63(2): 157–164.
6. Standards for basic anesthetic monitoring. Committee of origin: standards and practice parameters. American Society of Anesthesiologists website. Accessed Jan. 13, 2013.

About the Author

Michael Noble is a Senior Market Strategist for the Medical-Surgical and Procedural Sedation areas of care in the hospital at Medtronic. He develops strategies to help clinicians ensure patient safety with continuous monitoring solutions like Microstream™ capnography, Nellcor™ pulse oximetry, and Vital Sync™ clinical decision support.

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