Doctors and veterinarians are interested in a quantity called the
"cardiac output" which is a measure of the rate of blood flow being
pumped by the heart. To measure the cardiac output, a catheter (tube)
is inserted through the heart. The catheter measures the temperature of
the surrounding blood near the tip of the probe. The catheter has a
small balloon at the tip which is inflated to help the probe move
through the heart and then deflated. Once the catheter is inserted, ice
water is injected through the catheter and emerges from a small hole
approximately 12 inches before the end of the catheter.
X-rayof a catheter inserted in a dog
[Click here for a larger image]
Fluoroscope movie of a catheter being inserted into a dog*
Click here for more background information about the procedure or the catheter.
Based on the discussion above, the picture and the movie above, answer the following questions about measuring cardiac
Move on to the next lesson, Gather Data.
Students will construct a simple experiment, using a catheter, which can measure cardiac output.
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