New sophisticated mechanical ventilators supply a wide variety of waveform display options including pressure, volume, flow, and loop waveform graphics. Unfortunately, few clinicians are proficient in their understanding of the waveforms and how to apply the information at the bedside. Pressure waveform monitoring, one type of waveform, is an extremely useful form of waveform graphical display that can be applied easily to all ventilators (not just the new ones). This technique is called continuous airway pressure monitoring (CAPM).

Q: What is CAPM?

CAPM is a simple, noninvasive technique for displaying a patient’s real-time pressure waveforms on bedside monitoring systems. Because positive waveform deflections indicate positive pressure ventilation and negative deflections indicate spontaneous inspiratory effort, the technique provides clinicians with a method to visually observe the interactions between the patient’s own spontaneous efforts and that of the ventilator. As a...

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