Department of Thoracic Surgery, Hazrat Rasoul Akram Medical Complex, Iran University of Medical Sciences, TEHRAN- IRAN.
Background: A chest tube is used as a close system for drainage of fluid in the pleural space in trauma patients or after thoracic surgery. A chest bottle used at present is generally made from hard synthetic material with the possibility of breaking. Furthermore, some amounts of sterile solution (normal saline) should be always added into the chest bottle to prevent return of air back into the pleural cavity creating a vacuum and decreasing the mobility of the patient significantly. The purpose of this study was to use a drainage bag which is a new device made from soft and light synthetic materials like those used in urinary bag, so that drainage of fluid and air can be done through the pleural space without any complication related to the use of chest bottle. Materials and Methods: The present study was an interventional clinical trial. Fifty patients were selected among those who had been hospitalized in Hazrat Rasoul Akram Hospital between 2006 and 2007 and chest tubes were placed for them. After obtaining consent for participation in the study, they were divided into two groups (each comprising 25 patients) randomly. Chest bottle and drainage bag were used in groups 1 and 2, respectively. Both groups were compared for severity of chest pain, satisfaction from the device and duration of hospitalization. Results: The study showed the mean pain severity in patients with a drainage bag to be 4.1 units compared to those with chest bottle as 5.4 units. Satisfaction of the patients regarding their ability to move and ease of replacement of the device was 81% in the group with drainage bag and 43%in the group with chest bottle. Mean hospitalization period was 4.8 days in patients with drainage bag and 8.5 days in patients with chest bottles. Conclusion: The present study showed that using drainage bags instead of chest bottles in all patients who have chest tubes, can result in decreased pain, more satisfaction, shorter hospitalization and acceleration of recovery provided that the patients do not need more negative pressure (suction) within the pleural space. (Tanaffos 2007; 6(3): 36-39)