Tube Thoracostomy

First Things First (assess & treat for the following)

  • Indications:
    • Pneumothorax: >3 cm from apex of lung on CXR, more than halfway down the chest wall, or >25% of the volume of the pleural space
      • Can be indicated for a smaller pneumothorax if patient is in respiratory distress or on a mechanical ventilator
    • Large pleural effusions in the setting of respiratory distress or mechanical ventilation
    • Hemothorax
    • Chest trauma, tympani and decreased breath sounds
    • Empyema

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Last updated: May 13, 2010