Another technological first. Swan Ganz catheter insertion simulator. PACS consists of a manikin with insertion point, offering realistic needle resistance, into the central venous circulation. A pulmonary artery pressure trace is also generated to guide insertion.
What is a Pulmonary Artery Catheter?
In 1970 two doctors, Swan & Ganz recognised the need to modify existing radiology catheters used for imaging the pulmonary artery. Their modification consisted of the addition of an inflatable balloon at the catheter tip. When introduced into the central venous circulation, it would be carried through the right atrium, ventrical and outflow tract into a small pulmonary artery. This obviated the need for radiologic control and enabled the catheter to be placed in patients in a variety of clinical settings.
Catheter Use Training Today
The pulmonary catheter is inserted by a physician whenever the need arises to measure cardiac output or left heart function. The trainee physician works with an experienced physician watching, practicing and learning. In a manner similar to commercial air travel, few things go wrong in routine use of pulmonary artery catheters, so this approach exposes the trainee to few, if any, unusual events. The feel of placement and use of a catheter is not learnt until the trainee treats a patient for the first time.
All medical procedures have associated risks. The process of pulmonary artery canulation is no exception. Recent problems to do with this procedure had been attributed to the lack of training available. Examples of these sorts of problems include:
PACS, not unlike Syrinx's other simulators, is noted for the sophisticated level of realism which is offered to the trainee/physician performing the procedure. This is a combination of the resistance that is met when introducing the catheter into the right internal jugular vein and, the real time, true to life pressure wave forms that are generated.
The Pulmonary Artery Catheter Simulator has been developed to minimise the risks, aid in research and training and improve the safety of patient care.