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Insertion time of the pulmonary artery catheter in critically ill patients

Lefrant, Jean-Yves MD, PhD; Muller, Laurent MSc, MD; Bruelle, Pascal MSc, MD; Pandolfi, Jean-Louis MD; L'Hermite, Joel MD; Peray, Pascale PhD, MD; Saïssi, Gilbert MD; de La Coussaye, Jean-Emmanuel PhD, MD; Eledjam, Jean-Jacques MD

Clinical Investigations
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Objectives: Measurement of the time elapsed from the decision to use a pulmonary artery catheter to the onset of the adapted treatment.

Design: Prospective study.

Setting: Critical care unit of a university hospital.

Patients: A total of 104 critically ill patients.

Interventions: The time elapsed from the decision to use a pulmonary artery catheter to the onset of the adapted treatment. Five time intervals (availability, preparation, catheterization, data collection, and therapeutic intervals) were individualized according to the times of decision of pulmonary artery catheter insertion, operator's hand washing, venipuncture, postoperative dressing, data collection, and the effective onset of subsequent therapy.

Measurements and Main Results: Among 120 used pulmonary artery catheters, seven could not be inserted. The time to use the pulmonary artery catheter was never shorter than 45 mins (median value = 120 mins). For availability, preparation, catheterization, data collection, and therapeutic intervals, the median values were 30, 20, 20, 20, and 10 mins, respectively. The availability and data collection intervals were shortened during the night period and the fourth quarter of the study, respectively.

Conclusions: The pulmonary artery catheter use is time consuming. However, the availability and data collection intervals could be shortened.

From the Fédération d'Anesthésie Douleur Urgences Réanimation (Mr. Lefrant, Dr. Muller, Mr. Bruelle, Drs. Pandolfi, L'Hermite, Saïssi, de La Coussave, and Eledjam), and Département d'Information Médicale (Dr. Peray), Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Nîmes, Nîmes, France.

Presented, in part, at the 1997 Annual Meeting, American Thoracic Society, San Francisco, CA.

Address requests for reprints to: Jean-Yves Lefrant, MD, Département d'Anesthésie-Réanimation, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Nîmes, 5 rue Hoche, 30 029 Nîmes Cédex 4, France.

Copyright © by 2000 by the Society of Critical Care Medicine and Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All Rights Reserved.