Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Drainage: thorax

Synonym(s): Thoracic drainage, thoracocentesis, chest tube, tube thoracostomy

Contributor(s): Cheryl Hedlund, Susan Rackard, Kim Willoughby, Zoe Halfacree

Introduction

  • Insertion of indwelling chest drain for removal of fluid/air or for thoracic lavage.

Uses

Post-operative

Management of thoracic disease

  • Pneumothorax Pneumothorax: simple/tension, traumatic/'spontaneous' types.
  • Pleural effusions  Pleural effusion :
    • Blood - hemothorax  Hemothorax.
    • Chyle - chylothorax  Chylothorax.
    • Pus - pyothorax  Pyothorax.
    • Transudate/modified transudate.
    • Neoplastic effusions.
  • When combined with continuous suction/drainage devices, chest drains may be used to facilitate pleurodesis in the treatment of lung surface injuries.
  • Chest tubes can be used for instillation of drugs or to provide pleural lavage.

Advantages

  • Avoids repeated needle thoracocentesis.
  • Secure access to pleural space.
  • Generally well-tolerated.
  • Continuous drainage achievable with appropriate equipment.
    Severely dyspneic patients should be stabilized prior to chest tube placement. Remove fluid or air by needle thoracocentesis before inserting a thoracic drain.

Requirements

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Preparation

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Procedure

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Aftercare

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Outcomes

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Prognosis

  • Depends on reason for placing chest drain.

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

Other sources of information


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