The use of pulmonary artery catheters (PAC) has been under scrutiny for the past few years. The evidence favoring and discouraging its use is abundant in the medical literature. In order to observe if the evidence published has had any impact over the use of the PAC, we performed a retrospective chart review of all the critically ill ventilated patients from 1996 to 2001. The data analysis included patients admitted to any of the Critical Care Units at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia (CCU, SICU or MICU).During the 6 year period the mortality rates of all the critically ill ventilated patients remained stable in both medical and surgical patients (fig.1). Also the demographic characteristics of both surgical and medical patients remained unchanged.On the other hand the use of PAC in critically ill ventilated medical patients has decreased from 5.5% of to 1.8% in 2001 (fig.2). The use in the surgical setting has remained stable.This study documents a decreasing trend in the use of PAC in the medical ventilated critically ill patient without evidence of an impact in inhospital mortality.
G.E. Gianella, None.