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Pulmonary Artery Catheter Simulator (PACS)

Pulmonary Artery Catheter Simulator (PACS)

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.

Concept of pulmonary artery canulation with a simulator

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.

Minimising the risks by simulation

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:

  • Inflation of the balloon at the wrong time resulting in rupturing of the pulmonary artery.
  • The trainee does not recognise an unusual wave form from the catheter and manipulates it inappropriately. A typical example of this would be withdrawal of the catheter before the balloon is deflated.

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.

Features of PACS

  • Easy to use
  • Lightweight and highly portable
  • Rapid setup time for use, not requiring a physician
  • Compatible with all pulmonary artery catheters
  • Low power, double insulated
  • Compatible with operating theatre usage
  • Realistic features
  • Able to be used from venous canulation through all steps to catheter wedging
  • Pressure wave form data generation, compatible with operating theatre patient monitors
  • Training from very basic to advanced
  • Reinforcement of Trainee's experiences
  • Simulation for experienced practitioners
  • Rehearsal of critical events


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