A Basic Guide to Chest Tube

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A Basic Guide to Chest Tube

What is a chest tube?

A chest tube is a thin and flexible tube that is inserted into the space between the lungs and chest wall, also known as the pleural space.

Why do I need to have a chest tube inserted?

The chest tube allows the drainage of fluid (blood, pus, serous fluid) or air that has built up in the pleural space into a collection bottle.

When will the chest tube be removed?

Chest Tube

The doctor will decide to remove the tube according to your condition, when air/fluid drainage has reduced to an acceptable level.

How do I care for my chest tube?

• Do not tug or pull out the chest tube

• Ensure that the tubing is not looped/kinked or interfering with your movement

• Ensure the chest drainage collection bottle is placed in an upright position below chest level

• Do not turn knobs or change the settings on your device

• Keep dressing dry and inform the nurse if dressing becomes loose, wet or soiled

• Take deep breathing and coughing exercises to promote lung expansion

• Seek assistance when moving around or sitting out of bed

What are the common risks?

• Infection

• Bleeding

• Air leaks into tissue of the chest or neck

• Chest tube is dislodged

When should I alert my nurses or doctors?

• Severe pain

• Difficulty in breathing

• Dressing is wet or loose

• Chest tube is disconnected from the drainage tubing or the bottle

Yishun Health is a network of medical institutions and health facilities of the National Healthcare Group in the north of Singapore. It comprises Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, Yishun Community Hospital and community extensions such as Admiralty Medical Centre and Wellness Kampung. Khoo Teck Puat Hospital • (65) 6555 8000 • www.ktph.com.sg

Yishun Community Hospital • (65) 6807 8800 • www.yishuncommunityhospital.com.sg

The information is correct at the time of printing and subject to revision without further notice. IP.PE.32.0124

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