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Know More About Closed Chest Drainage System

A chest tube, also known as a thoracic catheter, is a sterile tube with a number of drainage holes that are inserted into the pleural space. The pleural space is the space between the parietal and visceral pleura and is also known as the pleural cavity.

A patient may require a closed chest drainage system any time the negative pressure in the pleural cavity is disrupted, resulting in respiratory distress. Negative pressure is disrupted when air, or fluid and air, enters the pleural space and separates the visceral pleura from the parietal pleura, preventing the lung from collapsing and compressing at the end of exhalation. 

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The system is airtight to prevent the inflow of atmospheric pressure. Because the pleural cavity normally has negative pressure, which allows for lung expansion, any tube connected to it must be sealed so that air or liquid cannot enter the space where the tube is inserted.

The location of the chest tube depends on what is being drained from the pleural cavity. If air is in the pleural space, the chest tube will be inserted above the second intercostal space at the mid-clavicular line. If there is fluid in the pleural space, the chest tube is inserted at the fourth to fifth intercostal space, at the mid-axillary line. A chest tube may also be inserted to drain the pericardial sac after open heart surgery, and may be placed directly under the sternum

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