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July 22, 1968


JAMA. 1968;205(4):19-30. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03140300005003

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Blood CO2 Measured Through Skin  Ventilatory function can now be monitored with a sensing device that is strapped around an arm or wrist, report investigators from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.Instead of cannulating the patient and periodically drawing arterial blood for analysis, the level of carbon dioxide in the blood is measured through the intact skin.First, the barrier layer of dead cells is stripped from the patient's skin with cellophane tape. The inner plastic membrane of the Severinghaus electrode comes into direct contact with the skin. The membrane is permeable to carbon dioxide but not to water-soluble materials—such as the phosphate buffer solution which is sealed behind the membrane away from the skin. A glass electrode, identical to the one used for the measurement of arterial PCO2, is immersed in the buffer solution.The electrode is then able to measure the amount of CO