Jeffrey E. Godwin, MD; Steven A. Sahn, MD
Thoracentesis has contributed to the diagnosis and management of patients with pleural effusions for almost 150 years (1). More than 90% of thoracenteses provide clinically useful information (2), with major complication rates of up to 14% (2-4). Despite the utility of this procedure, in our institution physicians are reluctant to do thoracenteses in mechanically ventilated patients because they perceive the risk for pneumothorax to be increased. Although positive pressure ventilation is not considered to be a contraindication to the procedure, according to the American Thoracic Society guidelines (5), no available data indicate the safety of using the procedure in this
Godwin JE, Sahn SA. Thoracentesis: A Safe Procedure in Mechanically Ventilated Patients. Ann Intern Med. ;113:800–802. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-113-10-800
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1990;113(10):800-802.
Emergency Medicine, Mechanical Ventilation, Pulmonary/Critical Care.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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