A recent prospective study found that 36% of patients suffer from completely blocked chest tubes. Worse yet, 86% of those occlusions were intra-thoracic and therefore invisible to the bedside caregivers.6 The crucial hours post-surgery, when the patient is still bleeding, are vitally important. Why risk patient outcomes by relying on a conventional chest tube to evacuate blood from the surgical site?
Normal post-op x-ray without effusions
RBS following blocked chest tubes
Blood’s natural coagulation properties work against patient outcomes. A conventional chest tube begins to clog almost immediately after insertion and as time progresses, the occlusion only becomes more serious. It’s a fact of physics that even a 50% chest tube restriction can cause a 94% reduction in flow. The resulting accumulation of blood and fluids at the surgical site can compromise patient recovery and lead to Retained Blood Syndrome (RBS) reinterventions.
50% less diameter = 94% less flow
Blood’s natural coagulation properties work against successful patient outcomes
Clinicians do their best, working against the odds in attempting to unclog blocked chest tubes. Unfortunately, conventional techniques such as milking, stripping and open suction are unproductive and may also be harmful.18