How can complications be minimized?

Think twice about the need to insert a pulmonary artery catheter in the first place. Consider removing the catheter after the first set of data have been obtained. Try to leave it in place for no more than 48 hours. Use fluoroscopy.

I cannot get a good wedge tracing. What do I do?

Check the chest x-ray for proper catheter position.

Aspirate and flush the catheter to remove clots and bubbles.

Check all connecting lines and stopcocks.

Check to see that the pressure transducers are at right atrial level.

The balloon might be over inflated; try letting the air out and refilling it slowly.

Consider the possibility that the tracing really is a wedge tracing with a giant v wave, such as is seen in acute severe mitral regurgitation and several other conditions.

How can complications be minimized? Photo Gallery

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