Donors give caregivers vital tools to care for patients

New capnography monitors for the Hospital’s Post Anaesthetic Care Unit (PACU) were among many tools funded by donors in the 2019/20 fiscal year.

Capnography allows physicians to monitor how well their patient is breathing by measuring the levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in their breath when they exhale.

It is most often used when a patient is given medicine for anaesthesia or sedation and also when a patient is recovering from these medications. This could be during surgery or other medical procedure.

“At Guelph General, we use it constantly whenever we are giving a patient an anaesthetic,” said Dr. Angela Northey, one of our anaesthesiologists. “Exhaled CO2 is monitored continuously and in real-time so that we can be sure that a patient’s breathing is adequate for their needs.”

With continuous real-time monitoring, the patient’s caregivers can follow levels of CO2 that are breathed out. For example, a decrease in CO2 would signal that something is wrong and would allow them to respond quickly. 

At Guelph General, any patient who had a procedure requiring sedation is monitored in our PACU as they recover. Thanks to the new donor-funded Capnography monitors, caregivers have the important tools they need to monitor their patient’s safe recovery.

“Without donors and their generosity, we’d be missing equipment that is vital for what we do, to look after patients and keep them safe,” said Dr. Northey. “So thank you. Every dollar that comes into the Hospital is needed and allows us to give back to the community.”