Role of Chest Drainage System in Chest Tube Insertion

Sometimes excessive air or pleural effusions get accumulated in the body’s pleural cavity thus causing discomfort and hampering the process of breathing. This is where the whole concept of chest drainage comes in.

What is a Chest Drainage System?

Also known as thoracostomy in medical terms, this process was first developed in the late 1970s when the first chest drainage system was designed. Since then, advancements in technology have helped create efficient and powerful drainage systems that can easily drain out pleural fluids and restore normal breathing.

Chest Drainage System is a basic pleural drainage system which works by forcing fluids out from the chest through a suction system with a tube inserted into the chest incision. The fluids are then accumulated inside a collection chamber and disposed of later. It is a bit more complicated than it may sound and the parameters of the device should be set perfectly to avoid complications.

Parts of a Chest Drainage System

There are three major parts of a Traditional Chest Drainage System:

  • Collection Chamber: Placed on the right hand side of the device, it is responsible for the collection of the fluids and air. The tube is directly connected to this chamber and all the fluids exiting the chest enter this compartment.
  • Water Seal Chamber: Placed in the middle of the device, this part allows air to exit from the pleural cavity but stops it from re-entering through the cavity during inhalation. It should always be calibrated perfectly to avoid air leaks and is majorly responsible for keeping the air pressure in the lungs at an optimum level.
  • Wet Suction Control: Placed on the left, this chamber is responsible for the suction of fluids from the chest into the collection chamber. It works by regulated water levels which apply a simple scientific principle to pull the liquids out of the chest.

Chest Drainage System

Types of Chest Drainage Systems

There are three types of chest drainage systems:

  • Traditional Chest Drainage System: It is the most basic form of the device with three compartments - collection chamber, water seal chamber and wet control suction. They function in tandem to drain the pleural liquids from the chest.
  • Dry Suction Drainage Systems: The wet suction system is replaced with the more efficient and less confusing dry suction system. It gives higher amounts of drainage and is easy to set up as compared to the wet one. They operate by regulating air pressure throughout the device.
  • One-way Valve Drainage Systems: The one-way valve replaces the water tight seal in the traditional system. It is directly attached to the thoracic catheter and can be operated in any position unlike the water tight seal. It protects the thoracic cavity and the lungs from atmospheric air.

Popular Chest Drainage Systems

ASEPT Pleural 1000mL Drainage System

This kit gives the patient a convenient and compassionate way to perform drainage at home or in any outpatient setting. ASEPT Pleural 1000ml Drainage System has an evacuated drainage bottle which is non-powered and consists of a manually operated plastic disposable evacuation system. The aim is to provide a vacuum for suction drainage of surgical wounds.

 ASEPT Pleural 1000mL Drainage System
 Bard Aspira Pleural 1000mL Lightweight Drainage Bag

Bard Aspira Pleural 1000mL Lightweight Drainage Bag

Using the Aspira drainage catheter, its Bag drains accumulated fluid in the pleural (chest) or peritoneal (abdomen) cavity. Bard Aspira Pleural 1000ml Drainage Bag relieves symptoms of pleural effusions or malignant ascites. The implant catheter is attached to the drainage bag and activated using an in-line siphon pump. It is lightweight and compact.

Denver Pleurx Drainage Kit

The perfect system for draining the fluid build-up in the comfort of home, Denver Pleurx Drainage Kit indwelling catheter and vacuum bottles allow the patients to drain fluid quickly, effectively and safely. The access tip present on the drainage line opens the safety valve on the pleural catheter.

 Denver Pleurx Drainage Kit

The innovation of chest drainage system since the 70s has helped millions around the world to breathe comfortably. Using a basic scientific principle, technology has helped us access one of the most delicate parts of the body easily and help in restoring its normal functions.


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