Donna R. Grogan, MD; Richard S. Irwin, MD
To the Editors: We found the article by Godwin and Sahn (1) to be helpful in beginning to define the risks of thoracentesis in mechanically ventilated patients. Pneumothorax, the only complication that the authors provide data for, occurred in 6% of patients. We have recently done a prospective study (2) on the risk of thoracentesis, and we feel compelled to make two comments.
First, we believe that one should be cautious in interpreting the results of the study by Godwin and Sahn (1) as demonstrating that the risks of thoracentesis in ventilated patients are similar to those in patients breathing
Grogan DR, Irwin RS. Risk of Thoracentesis. Ann Intern Med. ;114:431. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-114-5-431_3
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1991;114(5):431.
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