Scientists working in Tianjin Chest Hospital, China, have developed a less painful treatment strategy for pneumothorax treatment. By analyzing the partial pressure of oxygen and carbon dioxide in thoracic cavity gas during pneumothorax treatment, physicians can understand the real conditions of the pneumothorax and then update to a less painful treatment method.
Their work was published in the journal Technology. Spontaneous pneumothorax is a common respiratory disease, with an abnormal collection of air or gas in the pleural space that separates the lung from the chest wall which may interfere with normal breathing.
Knowing the actual condition of the pneumothorax is crucial in the new treatment method. In open and tension peumothorax, where conditions are more serious, the more powerful underwater chest drainage in preferred. On the other hand, in closed pneumothorax, where air leak from lungs are stopped, a simple manual needle aspiration is sufficient to treat the condition.
“The most frequent complication associated with chest tubes is chest tube clogging. We have found that after removing the clogged chest tube (there is blood clot in tube), in many cases, we could use a less painful needle aspiration because the pneumothorax has changed to a closed pneumothorax.”
Dr. Ma Hui, an attending physician in Tianjin Chest Hospital, said that they have designed a new diagnostic strategy to monitor the real time status of the chest cavity.
“By analyzing the thoracic cavity gas in real time, the partial pressure of carbon dioxide and oxygen during the pneumothorax treatment, the therapeutic strategy may be updated accordingly.” “In many cases, the following-up treatment can be updated to the less painful management method, such as conservative management, or updated to needle aspiration instead of continued use of chest tube drainage,” said Ma.