I've never done it. I won't even take a patient off of suction without an order, ex. "may be off suction for ambulation, for chest x-ray, etc. then placed back to suction." Don't want to cause a tension pneumo, crepidous, etc. And I don't take patients with air leaks off suction -- the chest x-ray will be done at the bedside. You can always get extension tubing, tape all chest tube connections, etc. so that the patient can ambulate in the room, get out of bed, etc. You really need to check your facility's policies and procedures. Forget the "scolding" and turn this into a learning experience.
Clamping, stripping, and irrigating:
Clamping the chest tube is not done except briefly to change the chest drainage container and to check for air leaks. The clamp needs to have rubber sleeves over its jaws so as not to damage the chest tube.
NEVER CLAMP THE CHEST TUBE IF THERE IS AN AIR LEAK FROM THE PATIENT.
Stripping the tubes(with mechanical strippers) to promote drainage through them is not favored anymore as it causes high negativity within the chest cavity which may damage the tissue.
Irrigation is usually only done by the surgeon. http://faculty.valencia.cc.fl.us/mludy/review.htm
1. Do not clamp chest tube
2. make sure there is order to allow off suction, for ambulation and xray.
3. Can order portable suction device, or get portable xray ( I usually do the second).
4. And don't let a doctor do it, even after injecting tubes.
We got a bunch of residents who enjoyed ordering negative pressure...(suction) but couldn't have set up a pleurevac if their life depended on it. I like the newer ones with the dial thingy.
Originally posted by nightngale1998 Okay.. I feel REALLY stupid (after I was "scolded" in report) but.. is it okay to clamp a chest tube temporarily to allow the patient to walk or sit away from the wall suction?
NO, you only clamp if you are changing the pleurevac or you have an emergency----somthing became disconnected.
Otherwise you just UNDO the suction to water seal so at least it is still draining by gravity
If you clamp you run the risk of clotting off the tubing and tamponade