A pocket calculator program for noninvasive assessment of cardiorespiratory function
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A pocket calculator program is described which facilitates rapid evaluation of pulmonary function at rest and during exercise. It embodies the Fick Principle applied to carbon dioxide; mixed venous carbon dioxide tension is measured by rebreathing, obviating the need for central venous or pulmonary artery catheterisation. The program is in two parts, Gas Phase and Blood Phase, which may be used separately. The variables calculated include tidal volume, CO2 production, oxygen consumption, respiratory quotient, alveolar ventilation and dead space: tidal volume ratio (Gas Phase); bicarbonate concentration, base excess, veno-arterial CO2 content difference, cardiac output, mixed venous oxygen saturation and pulmonary venous admixture (Blood Phase). Use of the program enables these variables to be calculated rapidly and accurately. Accuracy is improved by the application of equations which correct for alveolar-to-blood tension differences, effects of differing hemoglobin concentrations, arterial oxygen saturations and acid-base abnormalities; these calculations are otherwise very lengthy, time consuming and prone to error. The program allows simple noninvasive measurements to be applied to patients with a wide variety of metabolic, cardiac and pulmonary abnormalities in rest and exercise.
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