Swan-Ganz refers to the Swan-Ganz catheter, which is a medical device used to measure various hemodynamic parameters in critically ill patients. It is named after the physicians who developed it: Jeremy Swan and William Ganz.
The Swan-Ganz catheter is a thin, flexible tube that is inserted into a large vein, typically the internal jugular vein or the femoral vein, and then threaded through the heart until it reaches the pulmonary artery. The catheter has multiple sensors along its length that can measure pressures within the cardiovascular system.
Once the catheter is in place, it can provide important information about cardiac output, pulmonary artery pressure, pulmonary artery wedge pressure, and central venous pressure. These measurements help in assessing the overall function of the heart and the effectiveness of the circulatory system.
The Swan-Ganz catheter is commonly used in intensive care units (ICUs) and critical care settings, particularly in patients with severe heart or lung diseases. The data obtained from the catheter can guide medical management decisions, such as fluid administration, the use of vasoactive medications, or the need for mechanical ventilation.
It is important to note that while the Swan-Ganz catheter can provide valuable information, its insertion and use carry potential risks and complications. Therefore, it is typically performed by experienced healthcare professionals under sterile conditions, and its benefits must be carefully weighed against the potential risks for each individual patient.