Alternative treatments of pneumothorax.

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Alternative treatments of pneumothorax.

J Emerg Med. 2013 Feb;44(2):457-66

Authors: Repanshek ZD, Ufberg JW, Vilke GM, Chan TC, Harrigan RA

BACKGROUND: Pneumothorax has traditionally been treated in the Emergency Department by tube thoracostomy. However, this is an invasive procedure with high risk of complication and prolonged hospitalization.
DISCUSSION: In select settings, there are alternative forms of management of pneumothorax that carry lower risks and may reduce hospital stay. This article reviews the settings in which less invasive treatment, including observation alone, may be indicated. This article also reviews the techniques for simple aspiration and small-bore catheter insertion (by either Seldinger or catheter-over-wire technique) with Heimlich valve, as well as the indications, contraindications, and potential risks and benefits of each.
CONCLUSIONS: The practices of observation, simple aspiration, and small-bore catheter insertion with Heimlich valve for selected patients may decrease complications, time, and costs by avoiding invasive procedures and hospital admissions.

PMID: 22621938 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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