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Experience with chest tube removal

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I am writing a paper regarding chest tube removal (and the nurses role) and I was hoping to get some feedback from current nurses about their facilities protocol to chest tube removal. More importantly is there anything you have seen done that you think works/or doesn't work, or anything you think should be made a protocol that is not. Any advice or patient stories would be very helpful. Thank you!!

Daytonite, BSN, RN

Specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt. Has 40 years experience.

most of the thoracic surgeons need a suture removal kit and wanted a piece of vaseline gauze and a 4x4 to put over the wound. the doc cuts the sutures, tells the patient to breathe out as much air as they can, hold it (bear down) and removes the tube. he puts the vaseline gauze over the site, then the 4x4 and tapes it up often with some kind of occlusive tape. our chest surgeons carried their own in their pockets--like a moleskin tape. you get to clean up the stuff that is left behind. when they take the tube out it is ready to be removed. there is usually nothing dramatic about it.

Thank you Daytonite! Also as I have continued writing this paper I have begun to focus on different analgesics used during the removal process. What has been your experience with these? Any one you have seen have better results?

Daytonite, BSN, RN

Specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt. Has 40 years experience.

In the real world the patient got whatever they were getting for pain. Usually, the doc was in a hurry and didn't have time to wait for the patient to be medicated. The tube removal takes 3 seconds. Most patients are happy to have it out.

But for the purpose of your paper, any of the medium strength pain relievers will work (Tylenol #3, Vicodin) given 30 minutes prior to the tube removal.

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