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A Technique for Thoracentesis

Arch Surg. 1961;83(6):840-841. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1961.01300180040008.
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Aspiration of pleural fluid with standard techniques is frequently painful for the patient and time-consuming for the physician. The equipment is burdensome in amount, must be cleaned and sterilized after each use, and may contain dangerous air leaks in worn parts and connections.

An advanced method of thoracentesis using equipment which is commercially available is presented in this paper. The few parts required are disposable. Fluid is collected in sterile, closed, graduated containers for measurement and further laboratory studies.

Technique  The skin area through which the thoracentesis is to be done is prepared in an accepted manner. A commercial phlebotomy set consisting of a donor set and vacuum donor bottle is assembled.* Vacuum is retained in the container by occluding the plastic tube with a screw clamp. After infiltration of the skin and subcutaneous tissue with a local anesthetic, the needle attached to the donor set is inserted a short


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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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