Optimizing Chest Drainage After Cardiac Surgery: An Evidence-Based Approach

1.0 hours Continuing Education Units

  • Jill Ley MS, RN, CNS, FAAN
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist, Surgical Services; California Pacific Medical Center
  • Clinical Professor, Department of Physiological Nursing, UCSF

Learning outcomes:

  • Identify the incidence and features of chest tube clogging in cardiac surgical patients
  • Describe potential short and long-term adverse outcomes associated with clogged tubes and Retained Blood Syndrome (RBS)
  • Review the evidence behind strategies used to promote chest tube patency
  • Discuss the role of Activated Clearance Technology in maintaining chest tube patency and its impact on patient outcomes

Chest drainage was first proposed as a treatment by Hippocrates in the 3rd century BC for the treatment of empyema. However, the technique was not widely used until the influenza epidemic of 1917 when chest tubes were used as a standard means of treating post- pneumonic empyema.The use of chest tubes was first reported for post-operative thoracic care in 1922, and in World War II where they were regularly used post-thoracotomy. Today, chest tubes are routinely placed following cardiac surgery to remove blood and fluid from around the heart and lungs.

Still, despite over 50 years of clinical use, there are no standard clinical guidelines or best practices in place to maintain chest tube patency and reduce post-operative complications after cardiac surgery. ClearFlow, Inc. is pleased to offer an accredited one-hour Continuing Education Course at no charge which aims to offer insights into the risks associated with some current clinical strategies and the alternatives that can be employed which have been shown to positively impact clinical outcomes and reduced cost of care for cardiac surgery patients.