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Pediatric Chest Tubes And Pigtails: An Evidence-Based Approach To The Management Of Pleural Space Diseases

November 2015

Abstract

Pediatric thoracostomy procedures are used in the emergency department to treat diseases of the pleural space. As children have unique thoracic anatomy and physiology, they may present with management challenges that the emergency clinician must consider. This issue reviews the use of chest tubes and pigtail catheters in pediatric patients, techniques and indications for placement, and possible complications. Diagnostic and treatment options for diseases of the pleural space, such as spontaneous pneumothorax, traumatic injury, and parapneumonic effusions/empyema, are examined. Additionally, this issue discusses the use of imaging modalities to aid in the diagnosis of pleural space diseases and the emerging practice of ambulatory management in certain cases.

Keywords: pediatric, child, infant, chest tube, pigtail catheter, pleural space diseases, pneumothorax, hemothorax, parapneumonic, effusion, empyema, thoracostomy, thoracentesis, chest radiography, x-ray, computed tomography, CT, ultrasound, needle decompression, chest trauma 

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