Routine Monitoring of Critically Ill Patients

Intensive care units are places where patients are monitored routinely and thoroughly. This level of monitoring provides health care providers with important information for diagnosis and prognosis in severe situations. This chapter addresses minimally invasive monitoring of critically ill patients, providing information on both the how and why of monitoring techniques.

The authors examine the reasons for, the measurement of, and the methods and tools available for several routine monitoring strategies, including temperature monitoring, arterial blood pressure monitoring, electrocardiographic monitoring, respiratory monitoring, and noninvasive tissue perfusion monitoring. In discussing tissue perfusion, the authors specifically address gastric tonometry, sublingual capnometry, and transcutaneous oxygen and carbon dioxide monitoring. Additionally, the chapter assesses advantages, as well as utility, of these different monitoring strategies.