Q When obtaining a wedge pressure, how will I know that the balloon is deflated if I don’t withdraw the air from the balloon with the syringe?

A Linda Simpson, RN, MSN, and Katie Schatz, RN, MSN, NP-C, reply: ______

First, it is necessary to discuss the proper way to obtain a wedge pressure. According to the AACN Procedure Manual for Critical Care,1 the patient should be placed in the supine position with the head of the bed between 0 and 45 degrees. The pulmonary artery (PA) wedge pressure can easily be obtained by inflating the pulmonary artery balloon port, slowly, with enough air to change the PA waveform, to a PA wedge waveform. Use no more than 1.5 mL of air. Keep the balloon inflated for 2 or 3 respiratory cycles, but usually no more than 10 to 15 seconds. During this time, run a dual-channel strip; this...

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