Monitoring and managing the critically III patient in the intensive care unit

Fahd O. Arafat, Gregory J Beilman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The need for better acquisition and monitoring of patient physiological information within and outside of healthcare settings is especially important, as our healthcare system prepares to care for an aging population of more critically ill patients. Monitors serve several purposes, including: identification of shock and abnormal cardiac physiology, evaluation of cardiovascular function, and/or to allow for optimizing titration of therapy. An important function of an effective monitoring device is the reliable detection of abnormal physiology. Despite much research on the use of monitoring techniques in critical care, there is little evidence to support improved outcome related to routine use of monitors. Mainstays of invasive monitoring in the ICU include central venous pressure monitoring and arterial pressure monitoring, with pulmonary arterial monitoring reserved for occasional patients with multisystem disease. Recent trends in monitoring have included development of less invasive monitoring techniques that yield a number of cardiovascular parameters potentially useful to clinicians. New noninvasive measures of tissue perfusion (e.g., StO2) have significant potential for identification and treatment of pathophysiologic states resulting in inadequate tissue perfusion. Developers of new monitors, despite facing regulatory requirements that are less stringent than those of drug manufacturers, will increasingly be expected to demonstrate clinical efficacy of new devices. In the final analysis, the most important “monitor” is a caring healthcare provider at the patient bedside carefully evaluating the patient's response to intervention and therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Cardiac Anatomy, Physiology, and Devices, Third Edition
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9783319194646
ISBN (Print)9783319194639
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • ICU monitoring
  • Near-infrared spectroscopy
  • Pulmonary artery catheter
  • Pulse waveform contour analysis
  • Sublingual capnometry

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