inspiration and increases during expiration. If tidaling doesn’t occur, suspect the tubing is kinked or clamped, or a dependent tubing section has become filled with fluid. Also, don’t expect tidaling with complete lung expansion or with mediastinal tubes, because respirations don’t a ff ect tubes outside the pleural space. Intermittent bubbling, corresponding to respirations in the water-seal chamber, indicates an air leak from the pleural space; it should resolve as the lung reexpands. If bubbling in the water-seal chamber is continuous, suspect a leak in the system. To locate the leak’s source, such as a loose connection or from around the site, assess the system from the insertion site back to the CDU. When searching for the source of an air leak, use rubber-tipped or padded clamps to momentarily clamp the tubing at various points; bubbling stops when you clamp between the air leak and water seal. If you’ve clamped along the tube’s entire length and still can’t find the source, the CDU might be faulty; replacement should be considered.
Assess drainage: Chest Tube Care Assess the color of drainage in the drainage tubing and collection chamber. Know that old drainage in the collection chamber may inaccurately reflect current drainage as shown in the tubing. At regular intervals (at least every 8 hours), document the amount of drainage and its characteristics on the clinical flow sheet. Report sudden fluctuations or changes in chest-tube output (especially a sudden increase from previous drainage) or changes in character (especially bright red blood or free-flowing red drainage, which could indicate hemorrhage). Frequent position changes, coughing, and deep breathing help reexpand the lung and promote fluid drainage. Don’t milk, strip, or clamp the tube for Chest-tube care Avoid aggressive chest-tube manipulation, including stripping or milking, because this can generate extreme negative pressures in the chest tube and does little to maintain chest-tube patency. If you see visible clots, squeeze hand-over-hand along the tubing and release the tubing between squeezes to help move the clots into the CDU. As a rule, avoid clamping a chest tube. Clamping prevents the escape of air or fluid, increasing the risk of tension pneumothorax. You can clamp the tube momentarily to replace the CDU if you need to locate the source of an air leak, but never clamp it when transporting the patient or for an extended period, unless ordered by the physician (such as for a trial before chest-tube removal). In the event of chest-tube disconnection with contamination, you may submerge the tube 1 ″ to 2 ″ (2 to 4 cm) below the surface of a 250-mL bottle of sterile water or saline solution until a new CDU is set up. This establishes a water seal, allows air to escape, and prevents air reentry.
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- Winter '16
- Nursing, Pneumothorax, Pleural cavity, CDU