Show Summary Details
Page of

Chest tubes 

Chest tubes
Chest tubes

Arthur Atchabahian

, Christian Laplace

, and Karim Tazarourte


February 22, 2018: This chapter has been re-evaluated and remains up-to-date. No changes have been necessary.

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 11 July 2020

Percutaneous chest tube insertion is routinely performed on surgical wards, in the intensive care unit, in the emergency department, and in pulmonary medicine. While it has been shown that trained physicians can safely perform chest tube insertion, severe complications have been described, associated with a lack of proper training and/or an incorrect insertion or management of chest tubes. The proper technique of thoracic drainage is key for safety and effectiveness. Chest tube insertion has been well described, step by step, in the British Thoracic Society guidelines. The level of scientific proof of these recommendations ranges from a high level of evidence (A) to an expert opinion (C) (see Table 28.1).

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.