Chest Drain Insertion

Chest drain insertion is covered in detail in a dedicated skills session here.

Open/blunt dissection is required, not a ‘ Seldinger ‘ technique. Here are selected key learning points from that session:

  • The most common cause of serious injury (and death) as a result of chest drain insertion, is insertion at the incorrect site, usually too low
  • Confirm that the drain lies within the chest wall cavity by looking for  fogging of the tube and swinging of the chest drain with respiration
  • Do not clamp the chest drain or apply suction unless recommended by cardiothoracics
  • The underwater seal needs to remain below the insertion site at all times.