Just wondering if there are many Cardiac Surgery services that use mediastinal chest tubes vs. Blake drains post surgery and vice versa. I work on a cardiac surgery stepdown unit btw--and recently I flew to Nebraska to see a friend who had valve surgery. She came out of the OR with a Blake drain--AWESOME!! I spoke with the surgeon myself and he said he generally only uses blake drains--unless the pt has excessive fluid in the OR. (I didn't realize you can forsee upcoming drainage). From a nursing perspective, I would prefer the CT-- I like to visualize when my pts "dump". However, less pain for the pt.
Long and short...I am sure it's surgeon preference.
Jan 11, '06
Our surgeons use both blakes and mediastinals, in different combos, some always have 1 mediastinal and 1 left pleural, some only a left pleural, some a different way for different surgeries (LIMA/RIMA harvest sites). I do think it is all about surgeon preference and how they were trained in their surgical rotation. Even with the patients with blakes, we always have them connected to an Atrium, so you can measure output the same way, and still see if they dump out. I personally prefer a chest tube over a blake. Some of the blakes are so small they can really clot off quick.
Jan 11, '06
ours use only mediastinal drains, I don't see blake tubes on our OHS pts at all.
Jan 14, '06
Ours use Blakes and chest tubes.
Jul 11, '06
I'm not familiar with open heart surgery nursing care. I know what chest tubes are; but what is a blake drain?
Jul 12, '06
I'm new to stepdown/telemetry, but thus far I've seen a fairly equal number of blake drains vs. chest tubes at my facility.