Patients who develop hypotension after acute myocardial infarction are frequently transferred to medical centers for hemodynamic monitoring. To see if this practice is justified, we reviewed our experience with hemodynamic monitoring over a two-year period. Of 40 patients who underwent hemodynamic monitoring for hypotension, 28 were transferred from other institutions. Eleven (39 percent) of these patients had a pulmonary capillary wedge pressure of 16 mm Hg or less. Ten (91 percent) of these 11 survived, compared with one survivor (8 percent) in the 13 transferred patients with a pulmonary capillary wedge pressure of 17 mm Hg or more (P<0.001). The pulmonary capillary wedge pressure did not correlate well with the presence of a third heart sound on physical examination or with chest x-ray films. All hypotensive patients with a low pulmonary capillary wedge pressure received fluids to expand the blood volume as their major form of therapy. Thus, hemodynamic monitoring in patients with hypotension clarifies their status regarding blood volume and identifies those who will benefit from expansion of this volume. Transfer of hypotensive patients for hemodynamic monitoring seems justified, as their status regarding volume of blood is frequently difficult to ascertain by noninvasive means.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine