Do not “Whip the Tip” when Testing a Pulmonary Catheter before Insertion



Do not “Whip the Tip” when Testing a Pulmonary Catheter before Insertion


Rachel Bluebond-Langner MD



Prior to placement of a pulmonary artery (PA) catheter, the balloon should be tested, all ports should be flushed, the system should be primed with saline, and the equipment calibrated or zeroed with the system open to air. Flushing and priming the tubing removes air bubbles that can dampen the waveform. Leveling should be done with the patient lying flat and with the catheter held at the level of the of the patient’s atrium. The distal port should be connected to the pressure transducer, which produces the characteristic placement waveform on the monitor (Fig. 65.1). Prior to floating the catheter, the transducer connections should be checked by placing a finger over the distal tip of the catheter. This should cause a rise in pressure of the PA waveform only. Some people shake the tip to elicit a waveform, but this is to be avoided. “Whipping the tip” will cause all pressures, including the central venous pressure (CVP), to rise and will not provide specific information about transducer connections. There is also the theoretical risk of damage to the sensing mechanism and contamination of the catheter tip.

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Jul 1, 2016 | Posted by in ANESTHESIA | Comments Off on Do not “Whip the Tip” when Testing a Pulmonary Catheter before Insertion
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