What effect does using pulmonary artery catheters have on mortality, length of stay, and cost of care for adult patients in intensive care units?

In 1970, Drs H. J. Swan and William Ganz introduced a flowdirected balloon-tipped catheter that could be used to monitor patients at the bedside using intracardiac pressure tracings without fluoroscopy guidance. Since then, the pulmonary artery catheter (PAC) has been widely used in intensive care units (ICUs) to guide clinicians in the diagnosis and management of critically ill patients.

To summarize the procedure, a PAC is inserted into a vein (jugular, subclavian, or femoral) via an introducer sheath, through the right atrium and right ventricle to the pulmonary artery. While in this position, a PAC can measure filling pressures of the heart, yielding important hemodynamic monitoring information such as pulmonary and systemic vascular resistance, right and left ventricular end-diastolic pressure, and arterial and venous oxygen content....

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