A Pulmonary Artery Catheter (also known as a Swan-Ganz catheter), is a specialised catheter designed to provide information about the heart.
Pulmonary Artery Catheter
How Does It Work?
The pulmonary artery catheter is usually used on unstable, critically ill patients with heart and/or lung disturbances, high-risk surgical patients and some cardiac (heart) surgical patients. It is a diagnostic tool, which helps doctors decide on the best treatment for the patient.
The pulmonary artery catheter provides the ICU team with information regarding:
- The efficiency of the pumping action of the heart
- The volume of fluid in the cardiovascular system
- Pressure in the right and left side of the heart
- Pressure in the blood vessels leading from the heart to the lungs
Are There Any Complications?
All Intensive Care interventions and procedures carry a degree of potential risk even when performed by skilled and experienced staff. Please discuss these issues with the medical and nursing staff who are caring for the patient.
Of course, if you have any questions or concerns, please discuss them with the ICU nurses and doctors.
Please note these translations are based on an earlier version of this page.
Pulmonary Artery Catheters Version 1.2
First published June 2004
Reviewed June 2008
Reviewer Kathleen Ryan CNC ICCMU