Central venous pressure measurement

Use of an electronic pressure transducer is preferable to manometry which incorporates a three-way tap, a fluid reservoir bag and a fluid-filled vertical column, the height of which corresponds to CVP. The pressure transducer should be placed and 'zeroed' at the level of the left atrium (approximately mid-axillary line) rather than the sternum which is more affected by patient position (supine/semi-erect/prone). Venous pulsation and some respiratory swing should be seen in the trace but not a RV pressure waveform (i.e. catheter inserted too far).

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