Clin Chest Med. 2021 Dec;42(4):677-686. doi: 10.1016/j.ccm.2021.08.012.
Thoracentesis is a common bedside procedure, which has a low risk of complications when performed with thoracic ultrasound and by experienced operators. In critically ill or mechanically ventilated patients, or in patients with bleeding risks due to medications or other coagulopathies, the complication rate remains low. Drainage of pleural effusion in the intensive care unit has diagnostic and therapeutic utility, and perceived bleeding risks should be one part of an individualized and comprehensive risk-benefit analysis.