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Consensus Guideline

Pleural Drains in Adults

Immediate care post insertion of pleural drain



Commence immediately post insertion.

Continue frequently (< 30 minutes) until the patient is
stable and drainage volumes are within specified limits.

Then continue every 30 minutes for two hours.

Then hourly for four hours.

Once stable continue observations 4/24.

Patient observations

Closely observe respiratory status for signs of respiratory distress.

Check that air entry is equal and the trachea is midline.

Blood pressure (BP), Temperature, pulse, respiration (TPR), SpO2.

Pleural drain observations

Drainage: oscillation: air leak: suction (if applicable) and insertion site (Full description - see Section 3)

In adults >100mls of blood drained within 1-2 hours is very significant and must be reported to MO as the loss may need to be replaced.

Record pleural drain observations on an UWSD chart.