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Adjudged virtually worthless 15 years ago, central venous pressure is being monitored with increasing avidity in the emergency, surgical and intensive care units of today.
Two studies, presented at separate meetings in recent weeks, emphasized why "CVP" aided by improved instrumentation has reawakened this assessment of cardiac competence—despite the fact that "no homogeneous level of 'normal' has yet been found."
Though lacking the exactness of other important clinical indices, central venous pressure, the speakers emphasized, can be valuable for such purposes as:
Treatment of shock and associated hidden blood loss;
Assessment of myocardial competence in surgical patients.
"Impaired perfusion is the common denominator of all forms of shock," Mohammed Atik, MD, told the Southeastern Surgical Congress in Atlanta.
Blood flow to various organs may be impaired to widely differing degrees in shock, he emphasized. As an instrument of survival, the brain, heart, and lungs will be perfused in
'CVP'-New Values for Old Technique. JAMA. 1966;195(13):34-35. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100130020007