Pleural aspiration involves removal of fluid from the pleural space. It can be a diagnostic procedure or therapeutic or both.
Pleural aspiration may not be successful if the content of the pleural cavity is viscous, e.g. pus in an empyema, or liable to clot, e.g. blood in a haemothorax. In these situations, a larger bore chest drain is required.
- local anaesthetic + fine needle + syringe for local anaesthetic
- skin antiseptic
- 3-way tap
- containers for specimen collection
- container for discard
- large syringe
- giving set
- needle or cannula
Conventional teaching suggests that larger volumes may increase diagnostic yield. One study of 23 positive results and 21 negative results refutes this.
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