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A device using indicator dilution technique ( thermodilution) to measure blood flow from the heart. Cardiac output units use a balloon tipped, flow directed catheter with a thermistor placed in the right side of the heart. Output flow is measured. The thermistor signal is processed, and a thermal dilution curve is displayed from which various hemodynamic parameters can be determined.
1. Cardiac output computer units display the thermal dilution curves to ensure acceptable injection and dilution.
2. The cardiac output monitors should have the capability of removing bad curves to exclude them from the final average.
3. These cardiac output computers should provide a digital display of injectate and blood temperatures, and CO consumption constant with injectate volume/temperature controls and hemodynamic calculations.
4. The cardiac output computers' range should cover 0 to 12 L/min; the injection volume should be delivered at 3, 5, or 10 mL with a temperature range of 0° to 25°C.
5. The cardiac output monitors should provide accurate values with a mean error of 5% or 0.25 L/min, whichever is greater.
6. Cardiac output computers should be precise, regardless of the patient's stroke volume or heart rate, and whether room temperature or ice-cold injectate is used (with a large or small volume over any reasonable range of patient temperatures) in either a weak or firm injection rate.
7. If the cardiac output monitor unit cannot provide a correct calculation, it should display a message describing and explaining the problem.
8. The visual alarm should be easily noticeable and specific to the problem. It should remain on until the problem is corrected; turning off the alarm should be impossible.
9. All cardiac output computer controls should be visible and clearly identified with simple and clear functions. They should be protected against accidental setting changes.
10. Facilities need to determine whether a stand-alone or a modular cardiac output computer is a better fit for their needs. Depending on a facility's physiologic monitoring equipment, a modular cardiac output monitor may allow existing equipment to monitor cardiac output units.
11. It is important to know that some cardiac output monitors can provide trending for curves, while others trend cardiac output units' values. The number of values that can be stored is different among units.
Before you purchase your Cardiac Output Computer, we recommend you ask the seller the following questions: