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How can a nurse prevent chest tube air leaks when a physician inserts it into a client to treat a pneumothorax and the tube is connected to a water-seal drainage system?

How can a nurse prevent chest tube air leaks when a physician inserts it into a client to treat a pneumothorax and the tube is connected to a water-seal drainage system?

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A. Keeping the chest drainage system below chest level.
B. Keeping the head of the bed slightly elevated.
C. Checking and taping all connections.
D. Checking patency of the chest tube.

This question is part of

Basic Physical care (Part 2)
Asked by Maitland, Last updated: Apr 02, 2020

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2 Answers

T. Moore

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T. Moore, Writer, MA, Washington

Answered Jan 28, 2019

Pneumothorax is problem when there is a bunch of air that has come together and settled into the space that lies between the chest wall and the lungs. Most likely, there would be pain in the chest caused by the air as well as trouble breathing. The nurse would need to put a chest tube into the chest to take out the air and release it.

However, the nurse does not want the chest tube to leak. The tube may be connected to a water-seal drainage system. The best way to prevent the chest tube from air leaks is to check and tape all of the connections. Then the patient would eventually be able to breathe better and the chest pains would eventually subside until they had stopped.

 

John Smith

John Smith

Answered Sep 09, 2016

Checking and taping all connections.-rationale: air leaks commonly occur if the system isnt secure. checking and taping all connections will prevent air leaks. the chest drainage system is kept below chest level, and the head of the bed may be elevated to promote drainage not to prevent air leaks. chest tubes that arent patent may lead to tension pneumothorax but wouldnt cause an air leak.client needs category: physiological integrityclient needs subcategory: reduction of risk potentialcognitive level: analysisreference: taylor, c., et al. fundamentals of nursing: the art and science of nursing care, 6th ed. philadelphia: lippincott williams & wilkins, 2008, p. 1633.
 

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