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Analysis of Tube Thoracostomy Performed by Pulmonologists at a Teaching Hospital

Nancy A. Collop; Sola Kim; Steven A. Sahn
Author and Funding Information

From the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston


1997 by the American College of Chest Physicians


Chest. 1997;112(3):709-713. doi:10.1378/chest.112.3.709
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Published online

Abstract

Study objective: To evaluate all tube thoracostomies (TTs) done by pulmonary/critical care fellows and attending physicians in the Medical University of South Carolina's health-care system documenting patient demographics, indication for placement, size and characteristics of the tube, and associated problems.

Design: Prospective.

Setting: University health-care system, including a university hospital, a Veterans Affairs hospital, and a county hospital.

Patients: All adult patients requiring consultation by a member of the pulmonary/critical care staff for a tube thoracostomy.

Results: One hundred twenty-six tube thoracostomies were performed over a 24-month period in 91 patients. The most common initial indication for a TT was pneumothorax (69/103, 67%). Overall mortality in the patient population was 35% (32/91). Early problems (<24 hours following placement) occurred in 3% (4/126); late problems (>24 h after placement) occurred in 8% (10/126). Problems occurred in 36% (4/11) of small-bore tube placements vs 9% (10/115) of standard TT placements (p=0.02).

Conclusions: Tube thoracostomy can be safely performed by pulmonologists with relatively few associated problems.


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