Conclusions

SvO2 monitoring has attained general acceptance and some fervent supporters; however, in common with most monitors there is little hard evidence to support its use. Despite the advantages of the direct and continuous nature of the measurement and the insight given into the adequacy of oxygen delivery, it is clearly a long way from being the perfect monitor. The placement of a pulmonary artery catheter is an invasive procedure with numerous possible complications. Although the systems are intrinsically accurate there remain problems with drift and calibration. It is also possible that regional hypoxia may coexist with a normal or high SvO2. These problems accepted, SvO2 provides information not given by any other monitor which is of great value in the logical management of a large number of critically il patients.

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