How long should you wait for a chest radiograph after placing a chest tube on water seal? A prospective study

Carl I. Schulman, Stephen M. Cohn, Lorne Blackbourne, Dror Soffer, Noah Hoskins, Natasha Bowers, Fahim Habib, Bruce Crookes, Bob Benjamin, Louis R. Pizano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the optimal time interval for identifying a pneumothorax (PTX) on chest radiograph (CXR) after placing a chest tube on water seal. Methods: One hundred nineteen chest tubes were placed on water seal according to a prospective, observational study protocol. After water seal, both an early (3.1 ± 2.1 hours) and a late (17.6 ± 8.0 hours) CXR was obtained. Results: Thirty-one patients had a PTX on follow-up CXRs. There were 22 early and 9 late PTXs identified. Three patients in the early group had a clinically significant PTX or an increase in the size of PTX on follow-up CXR. None of the patients in the late group had a clinically significant PTX (any worsening of their PTX) or required further intervention. Conclusion: A normal chest radiograph obtained 3 hours after placing a chest tube on water seal effectively excludes development of a clinically significant pneumothorax.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)92-95
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
Volume59
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2005

Keywords

  • Chest trauma
  • Chest tube
  • Pneumothorax
  • Water seal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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