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July 25, 2007

The Pulmonary Artery Catheter, 1967–2007: Rest in Peace?

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine (Drs Rubenfeld and Rubinson) and Department of Nursing (Ms McNamara-Aslin), Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington, Seattle. Dr Rubenfeld is now with the Program in Trauma, Critical Care, and Emergency Medicine, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

JAMA. 2007;298(4):458-461. doi:10.1001/jama.298.4.458

In this issue of JAMA, an investigation using a nationally representative administrative database reported a marked decline in the use of pulmonary artery (PA) catheters from 5.66 per 1000 medical admissions in 1993 to 1.99 per 1000 medical admissions in 2004.1 These significant declines in PA catheter utilization were most prominent for patients with myocardial infarction (81% decrease), but also were significant for surgical patients (63% decrease) and for patients with septicemia (54% decrease).

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