Reducing morbidity from insertion of chest drains

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.316.7124.68 (Published 03 January 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:68

As few sharp objects as possible should be used on entering pleural space

  1. Anthony Main, Consultant anaesthetista
  1. a Castle Hill Hospital, Cottingham, East Yorkshire HU16 5JQ
  2. b Department of Intensive Care, St George's Hospital, London SW17 0QT

    Editor—Peek and Firmin's letter about attempted drainage of the pleural space raises a pertinent point: that an expanded lung is at risk of injury from any sharp object in its proximity.1 But two caveats must be borne in mind. Just because a lung is subject to positive pressure ventilation does not mean that it is expanded, and a lung removed from positive pressure ventilation may be perilously close to an oncoming scalpel, forceps, or trocar.

    Lung collapsed …

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