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Consensus Guideline

Pleural Drains in Adults

Section 4: Removal

In this section

Removal of pleural drain

The decision for removal must be documented by the MO in the progress notes.

Pigtail drains must be uncoiled prior to removal. Follow manufacturer's instructions regarding removal of drainage device, distance from the chest to cut the catheter and release the string. Failure to uncoil a pigtail drain prior to removal can cause severe pain and internal tissue damage to the patient.14

Prior to drain removal, check INR is =50 x109/L.

Check when anticoagulants were last given in all patients with anticoagulation therapy. The risk of haemorrhage will be reduced if removal of the drain occurs more than six hours since last dose of anticoagulants.

Recognise that the perception of the procedure will be unique for each patient.