What is the role of a blood vessel catheter in the management of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)?

Updated: Mar 27, 2020
  • Author: Eloise M Harman, MD; Chief Editor: Michael R Pinsky, MD, CM, Dr(HC), FCCP, FAPS, MCCM  more...
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Answer

Because avoiding fluid-overload may be beneficial in the management of ARDS, the use of a central venous catheter or pulmonary artery catheter may facilitate appropriate fluid management in these patients in whom judging intravascular volume status on clinical grounds may be difficult or impossible. This may be especially helpful in patients who are hypotensive or those with associated renal failure. Accurate measurement of hemodynamic parameters with a pulmonary artery catheter requires skill and care. This is especially difficult in patients either on mechanical ventilation or with forced spontaneous inspirations because the pressure tracing is affected by intrathoracic pressure. Pulmonary capillary wedge pressure (PCWP) should be measured at end-expiration and from the tracing rather than from digital displays on the bedside monitor.


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