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Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2015 Aug;2015:1699-702. doi: 10.1109/EMBC.2015.7318704.

Clustering of capnogram features to track state transitions during procedural sedation.


Procedural sedation has allowed many painful interventions to be conducted outside the operating room. During such procedures, it is important to maintain an appropriate level of sedation to minimize the risk of respiratory depression if patients are over-sedated and added pain or anxiety if under-sedated. However, there is currently no objective way to measure the patient's evolving level of sedation during a procedure. We investigated the use of capnography-derived features as an objective measure of sedation level. Time-based capnograms were recorded from 30 patients during sedation for cardioversion. Through causal k-means clustering of selected features, we sequentially assigned each exhalation to one of three distinct clusters, or states. Transitions between these states correlated to events during sedation (drug administration, procedure start and end, and clinical interventions). Similar clustering of capnogram recordings from 26 healthy, non-sedated subjects did not reveal distinctly separated states.

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