question about chest tube

  1. if a patient has pneumothorax intermittent bubbling in the water seal chamber is expected. However, if there is continuous bubbling indicates an air leak in the system. How would u check ?? if you clamp the tubes and there is absence of bubbling in the water seal chamber does this indicate air leak in the system? or is it presence of bubbling in the water seal chamber after it is clamped?
    Last edit by sualumni05 on Oct 1, '05
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   hrtprncss
    Hi if the chest tube itself is clamped(the one exiting the chest) and there is a continuous bubbling while on suction then there is a leak in the system. Theoretically, though you should not be clamping CT when pneumo is present. If you take out the suction from the wall and the water seal is continuously/intermittent bubbling then it tells u the pt still has a pneumo. Hope that helps.
  4. by   Cntw82BanRN
    Quote from sualumni05
    if a patient has pneumothorax intermittent bubbling in the water seal chamber is expected. However, if there is continuous bubbling indicates an air leak in the system. How would u check ?? if you clamp the tubes and there is absence of bubbling in the water seal chamber does this indicate air leak in the system? or is it presence of bubbling in the water seal chamber after it is clamped?
    in the water seal chamber, there is a flactuation in bubbling ( whenever patient inhale and exhale) but if the bubbling is continues there is a leak somewhere in the system so you will need to further your assessment. You are not supposed to clamp the chest tube while its in the patient. You will expect continues bubbling only on the suction chamber.
  5. by   RC1
  6. by   ItsyBitsySpider
    I had 4 of these questions on NCLEX on Tuesday. If there is continuous bubbling the correct answer is to clamp briefly closest to patient's chest to see if bubbling stops then act accordingly.

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