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  • 1. Introduction and Surgical Approach
  • 2. Incision
  • 3. Access to Pleural Space
  • 4. Chest Tube Insertion
  • 5. Secure Chest Tube
  • 6. Dressing
  • 7. Chest X-Ray to Confirm Placement
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Chest Tube Placement for Possible Hemothorax


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A hemothorax is a collection of blood within the pleural cavity. Blood can accumulate within the pleural cavity due to many causes such as: chest trauma (penetrating or blunt), thoracic surgery, or aortic disease. To treat the condition, a thoracostomy tube is inserted into the thoracic cavity on the diseased side of the body. In addition to blood in the pleural cavity, a chest tube can also be used to treat pneumothorax (air in the pleural space), pleural effusion (empyema, chylothorax), and insertion of medications. Depending on the need, a tube or catheter (14 fr. or smaller) may be used.