Insertion of a pulmonary artery catheter requires access to a great vein (the internal jugular, subclavian, or femoral). There is no ideal vein for insertion of a pulmonary artery catheter. Puncture is performed with sterile techniques, using a guidewire to introduce a catheter sheath through which the catheter is advanced, with an inflated balloon, into the pulmonary artery and finally into the wedge position. Continuous monitoring of pressures during this procedure allows correct positioning of the catheter without fluoroscopic control.
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