Hi Sharon ! I haven't had to use a chest tube in awhile, but we just had a inservice on the new Pleurevac CT system. Stripping is generally contraindicated due to the excessive negative pressure that builds up, and I wouldn't do it without a doctors order. But no matter what the new standard is, you will always get an old school doc who has been doing things his way for years.
My point is on the new Pleurevacs, ( and the Thoraklex System as well ) they have relief valves you push down on to releive the excessive negative pressure if the tubes need to be stripped.
They also have separate air leak indicator chambers so you can tip the thing over and still have accurrate measurements. Nothing gets mixed together, and no damage is done.
Your unit should have a video from the product rep somewhere. I recommend you take the time to review it. I had to watch ours 3 times before I really understood how it worked. They always tell you a bunch of crap you don't need to know and it gets confusing.
[This message has been edited by Nittlebug (edited March 04, 2001).]