Simple aspiration for spontaneous pneumothorax

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.310.6977.468c (Published 18 February 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:468
  1. Ian W B Grant
  1. Former consultant physician Nether Balchandy, By Pitlochry, Perthshire PH16 5JT

    EDITOR,—Editor's Choice in the issue of 19 November describes the clinical trial reported by John Harvey and Robin J Prescott—of simple aspiration versus intercostal drainage for spontaneous pneumothorax in patients with normal lungs1—as “methodologically strong.” I challenge that view.

    Firstly, patients “with signs of a tension pneumothorax” are said to have been excluded from the trial, presumably because intercostal tube drainage is considered to be mandatory in all such cases. But the criteria for that diagnosis are not stated, and at least some of the …

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