Dr. Lyon said that there are reasons to use large-bore catheters, but emergency physicians need to make sure they think through those cases. In many cases, a quick consultation with surgeons may help steer the decision.
“The only thing you probably need a large bore chest tube anymore is an empyema and some hemothoraces,” she said. “The literature, especially the trauma literature, is starting to suggest that even in traumatic hemothoraces we can use pigtail catheters and small-bore chest tubes.”
Richard Quinn is a freelance writer from New Jersey.