The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2000 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

RELIABILITY OF THE SINGLE BREATH CARBON MONOXIDE TEST FOR ASSESSMENT IN THE PEDIATRIC POPULATION

Amanda Eaton CRT, Katherine Smith CRT, Deborah Cullen EdD, RRT, FAARC, Simon Hillier MD. Respiratory Therapy Program, School of Allied Health Sciences, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN

Background: The majority of studies involving the single breath carbon monoxide (CO) monitor have focused on the adult population to determine smoking status as well as evaluation of the number of cigarettes smoked. Little attention has been given to the clinical utilization of the CO monitor in pediatrics to determine the level of primary or secondary cigarette exposure or to evaluate CO exposure. This study focuses on the reliability of the single breath CO monitor as an assessment tool for pediatrics. Method: The study included fifty-four children from a large midwestern pediatric hospital. All of the children were between the ages of five and eighteen and cognitively could follow basic instructions. The subjects were conveniently sampled from the population of children admitted for outpatient day surgery. The patient's parents completed an 8 item smoking questionnaire; then two tests yielding two CO levels were obtained from each child using a calibrated Vitalograph single breath CO monitor. Pearson's correlation coefficient (r) was utilized to quantify the reliability of the CO values. Descriptive analysis of the questionnaire was conducted. Results: Test 1 resulted in a mean CO level of 1.98 and Test 2 resulted in 2.17 CO level. The standard deviation (SD) from Test 1 was 1.35 with a SD of 2.17 from Test 2. Pearson's r = 0.87 was obtained from the test-retest reliability. Questionnaire analysis resulted in high smoking behavior from parents in the car, house and outside the house. Conclusion: The single breath CO monitor is a reliable assessment tool for pediatrics with good test-retest reliability. This device may provide an inexpensive, noninvasive measurement tool for obtaining CO levels in a clinical setting versus other invasive measurement tools such as cotinine or carboxyhemoglobin testing. This device is also appropriate for use in the pediatric population.

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