Do you flush Chest tubes at your hospital?

  1. Hi everyone - The interventional Rad group is wanting to start having the floor nurses start flushing their chest tubes they place. I have never done this and the others on our floors are not real happy about either. There is no policy in place as well. Do any of you flush chest tubes - if so - is there a policy for you to refer to?
    Thanks
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   jmgrn65
    never heard of flushing chest tubes what would be the purpose?
  4. by   JHUBRAIN
    To prevent it from clotting off. Sometimes they icky stuff gets caught in thoraic cath. They had a PA doing it and he just recently quit. I have only had to have it done twice.
  5. by   jmgrn65
    I have worked with chest tubes for 15 years and have never had one clot off. I would think that it would increase the risk for infection. We milk our tubes when it looks like they are getting clots.
  6. by   JHUBRAIN
    We do a lot of sclerosing - and getting the talc back out. Also we get a lot of the pyothorax folks. Sometimes it is so thick. We see it more once suction has been turned off (like going to Rad or something) and when suction gets reattached.
  7. by   Daytonite
    Yes, chest tubes can be flushed. It has to be a sterile procedure and you cannot use large amounts of fluid or a lot of pressure. If you are leary about doing this I would recommend that you plan to take a few hours to do some research on the care of chest tubes at a good health science or medical library, pull come articles and copy them off. Read until you feel confident in working with the tubes. I think what freaks most people out about them is that they are in such a crucial area and that they work by negative pressure, so they work a little backwards from other types of drainage tubes that we work work with.
  8. by   JHUBRAIN
    Great response - Thank you so much!!
  9. by   Tweety
    Interesting. I learn something everyday.

    I take care of a lot of chest tubed patients but they are the large tubes for traumas and we don't flush those. I occasionally see the small "pigtail" size and never thought they could be flushed.
  10. by   JHUBRAIN
    Quote from Tweety
    Interesting. I learn something everyday.

    I take care of a lot of chest tubed patients but they are the large tubes for traumas and we don't flush those. I occasionally see the small "pigtail" size and never thought they could be flushed.
    Me too! That is why I love this board!
  11. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from Tweety
    Interesting. I learn something everyday.

    I take care of a lot of chest tubed patients but they are the large tubes for traumas and we don't flush those. I occasionally see the small "pigtail" size and never thought they could be flushed.
    Me too re: large tubes . . . never seen small "pigtail" tubes . . .have to go google that . . . . . . .

    steph
  12. by   lisa7914
    We are having the same problem at our hospital. We are trying to find some refrences so we can make a policy for the books regarding the small bore chest tubes. Does anyone know of any refrences?

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