Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Drainage: thorax

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

Contributor(s): Jill Sammarco, Dick White, Zoe Halfacree

Introduction

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

Uses

Post-operative

Management of thoracic disease

  • Pneumothorax Pneumothorax : simple/tension Tension pneumothorax, 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.

Disadvantages

  • Severely dyspneic patients should be stabilized prior to chest tube placement. Remove fluid or air by needle thoracocentesis 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 drain placement.

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Frendin J & Obel N (1997) Catheter drainage of pleural fluid collections and pneumothorax. JSAP 38 (6), 237-242 PubMed.
  • Butler W B (1975) Use of a flutter valve in treatment of pneumothorax in dogs and cats. JAVMA 166 (5), 473-476 PubMed.


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