In this video, ICN’s Roger Harris (@RogerRdharris) discusses the basics of Pacing Swan Ganz Catheters. With all the benefits of a regular pulmonary artery catheter plus the ability for atrial and ventricular pacing, this is definitely one for budding intensivists the be aware of!
Swan Ganz catheters, also known as pulmonary artery catheters or “the yellow snake” are multipurpose monitoring devices that are useful in a range of clinical settings. They can be used for monitoring continuous cardiac output, central temperature, PA pressures, mixed venous gases and diastolic filling pressure, all of which are useful in RV failure, pulmonary hypertension and failed and post cardiac surgery. They can easily be inserted in the ICU so long as there is basic monitoring. The pacing component of the catheters function like any transvenous pacing wires and have similar indications.
During this presentation, Roger Harris describes Pacing Swan Ganz Catheters, how to float them, and tips and tricks for overcoming difficulties, in particular the placement of the pacing wire. There is an excellent animated illustration of the insertion including how the tracing reflects the device transducer. For an even greater appreciation of this device, Roger also demonstrates insertion of the catheter in a cavaderic pig’s heart!