Can spontaneous pneumothorax patients be treated by ambulatory care management?

Choi, Sung Hyuk; Lee, Sung Woo; Hong, Yun Sik; Kim, Su Jin; Moon, Jun Dong; Moon, Sung Woo
March 2007
European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery;Mar2007, Vol. 31 Issue 3, p491
Academic Journal
Abstract: Objective: In the Emergency Department, it would be worthwhile to treat pneumothorax patients on an outpatient basis by utilizing a small-calibre catheter and Heimlich valve insertion. We evaluated this treatment and compared it with the closed thoracostomy. Methods: In this comparative study, the success rate, complications and recurrence rate of treating spontaneous pneumothorax patients by using a small-calibre catheter and Heimlch valve were compared with those of a similar-sized group treated by closed thoracostomy. Results: Pneumothorax was successfully treated on an ambulatory basis by using the small-calibre catheter and Heimlch valve in 20 patients (47%); this was less than the 42 patients (89%) who were successfully treated by closed thoracostomy. While no complications were encountered in the group treated using the small-calibre catheter and Heimlich valve, 11 patients in the group treated by closed thoracostomy developed complications. The medical expenses for the treatment involving the small-calibre catheter and Heimlich valve were less than those for closed thoracostomy. Conclusion: Prior to the treatment, the patients should be fully informed of the success rate of this treatment and the possibility of requiring closed thoracostomy in the event of treatment failure.


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