Question of the Week: July 21, 2000

I am about to measure cardiac output with a pulmonary artery catheter.  I am currently infusion a unit of packed red blood cells through the introducer port....does this matter?


Yes.  The blood products should be stopped during cardiac output measurements.


Accurate cardiac output measurements depend upon stable and accurate INJECTATE and BLOOD temperatures.  Administration of cold blood products through the introducer, VIP or paceport lumens will lower the temperature of the blood in the right atrium.  When cardiac output injections are performed, the change in temperature may be greater than predicted for the volume of solution used; a false cardiac output reading may be produced.

Daily, E., and Schroeder, J. (1994).  Techniques in Bedside Monitoring. (5th Edition). pp. 185.

Brenda Morgan
Clinical Educator, CCTC
July 21, 2000

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