PA Catheters > Pulmonary Artery Catheter
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A pulmonary artery catheter (PA catheter) provides direct monitoring of right and left heart pressures as well as mixed venous sampling and cardiac output measurement. The catheter is placed through the right side of the heart and into the pulmonary artery.

A PA catheter is used in patients for whom cardiopulmonary pressures, flows, and circulating volume need precise management. The data obtained is used for two basic therapeutic goals, which are:

  • To maximize cardiac output and tissue oxygenation
  • To relieve or prevent pulmonary abnormalities (e.g., Pulmonary edema)

PA catheters have several uses as they measure a variety of different pressures in the cardiovascular system. As with other invasive monitoring techniques, you must pay attention to possible complications, precautions needed, and maintenance of the equipment. Read through the following items to view an explanation of the uses and considerations of PA catheters.

A PA catheter is used to assess CV status and response to therapeutic interventions in complicated MI, CHF, cardiogenic shock, and valve dysfunction. It can also be used in the following cases:

  • Other shock states
  • Assessment of respiratory status and response to therapeutic interventions
  • Assessment of fluid requirements in trauma, sepsis and burns
  • The perioperative monitoring of surgical patients with major system malfunctions
  • To obtain blood samples for the measurement of Mixed Venous Blood Gases from the pulmonary artery
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