The Routine Use of the Pulmonary Artery Catheter Should Be Abandoned
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The pulmonary artery catheter (PAC) is the most common method of measuring cardiac output in cardiac surgery. However, its use has always been questioned in terms of survival benefit, specifically with regard to the accuracy of its measurements and its invasive nature, with the potential for serious complications. In this review we aimed to develop a clear understanding of the pitfalls of the use of PAC, and discuss its risks and available alternatives. We conclude that there is no indication for the routine use of PAC such that clinicians should carefully consider the clinical risks and benefits on a patient by patient basis.
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