Chest Tube Question

  1. I have a quick question. Know all about the three chambers on the Pleurovac system. The suction chamber filled correctly to 20 cm determines the amount of suction for the chest tube. My question--what effect does added wall suction (usually at low intermittent) have? Why is wall suction often added if it is ultimately the water in the suction chamber that determines the amount of suction? Thank you for any insight you can offer me.
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    About VickyRN

    Joined: Mar '01; Posts: 12,037; Likes: 6,467
    Nurse Educator; from US
    Specialty: 16 year(s) of experience in Gerontological, cardiac, med-surg, peds


  3. by   suzanne4
    If there is no added suction then it is just water-seal and not the 20 cm pressure that is usually ordered. Remember that the chest tube is being used like a vacuum cleaner to help reinflate the lung, but that means with suction. Normally before discontinuing the chest tube, you remove the suction and see how the patient does, and if they tolerate it okay, then it is usually safe to pull the chest tube. Simple explanation, hope that this helps.
  4. by   IamRN
    Quote from vickyrn
    my question--what effect does added wall suction (usually at low intermittent) have?
    is the suction at low intermitten the md's order? i ask because i have never seen chest tubes w/intermitten suction (that defeats the purpose). it is usually at continuous suction and to effect of gentle bubbling at the water chamber (if the system has one), or when you see the indicator floating within the confines of the indicator window.