What is it about?

In this letter, the authors provide their perspective on the use of point of care ultrasound (performed by the surgeon) to reduce complications while inserting drainage tubes in the thorax of the patients. The focus of this manuscript is on finding the safest and lowermost site to insert the tube in order to avoid injuries to the diaphragm or unintended intrabdominal insertions.

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Why is it important?

Chest drainages are common procedures performed by physicians. Nevertheless, this procedures carries a high complication rate of approximately 25%. The most common complications are related to the insertion of the drain, which may result in lung and chest wall injuries, diaphragmatic trauma or ectopic positioning of the drain. Ultrasound can be used to mitigate such complications, by identifying the diaphragm and chest wall neurovascular bundle, and by poviding timely diagnosis of an extrapleural drain positioning.


Surgeons are still not broadly incoporating point of care ultrasound in their practice routinely. This manuscript may help elicit a wider understanding of the benefits of ultrasound as an adjunct for surgical procedures, focusing on tube thoracostomies.

Carlos Augusto Menegozzo
Hospital das Clinicas da Universidade de Sao Paulo

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Point-of-care ultrasound as a tool to prevent insertional complications during tube thoracostomy, Trauma, December 2019, SAGE Publications,
DOI: 10.1177/1460408619893901.
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