Free «Chest Tubes» Essay Sample

Chest Tubes

A chest tube can is a hollow and flexible pipe for fluid/air evacuation purposes. The nursing field uses the tube by inserting it into the chest for fluid evacuation. Physicians use chest tubes to treat patients having conditions that may cause partial or at times complete lung collapse. Chest tubes also instill fluids and drugs into the pleural space for other illnesses such as cancer. What happens is that a physician or nurse inserts a hollow and flexible drainage tube in a pleural space of a patient to assist in draining excess air or fluid to re-inflate the lung. Fluid and air evacuation from the lungs is a procedure that takes time. Some situations require the physician to use suction machine. The tubes are in use when there is an incident of patient trauma or after surgery. They help prevent serious compression of the heart as it drains fluids in the cardiac tamponade. The paper will focus on chest tubes as used for drainage by nurses in providing care to patients.

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Chest tube management involves evidence best practices for patient care. The management can be different depending on the patient’s infection, equipment and processes, and also guidelines involved. Nurse practitioners need to apply their duties based on the policies and procedures that guide chest management. Many patients get chest tube insertions when they have problems such as cardiovascular problems or pulmonary system malfunction. The cause of fluid collection in the pleural space may result in the lung losing volume and also collapse. When fluid collects in the diaphragm, it causes it to lose its effectiveness as it flattens contracts and pull in air in the course of aspiration. When a patient has a collapsed lung, it means the areas around the lungs are filled with air that could come about as a result of a disease or procedures (Durai, Hoque, & Davis, 2010). Therefore, chest tubes prevent life-threatening conditions.

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Chest tubes vary in size and shape. There are two types of chest tubes - right angle and straight. A right angle tube drains fluid from inferior hemothorax, while the straight tube is used in the upper hemothorax. There are numerous functions of the chest tube, but there are numerous risks involved with its use. Hence, nurses have to follow best practices to be able to monitor the insertion of the tube (Durai et al., 2010). More so, the practitioner has to control the drainage of the fluid ensuring the patient is not at risk of getting complications. First, it is the pain that a patient endures during tube placement. There is too much discomfort when doctors insert the tube, but it decreases with time. Secondly, insertion of a chest tube can cause severe bleeding as a blood vessel may be accidentally nicked, consequently resulting in surgery. Lastly, it may cause infection around the lung, in cases where bacteria enter the tube. More so, the longer a doctor allows the chest tube to stay in the chest, the greater a patient’s risk of infection is. It also increases the time of hospitalization (Briggs, 2010). In short, chest-tube insertion may cause complications; therefore, nurses caring for patients must be knowledgeable in its management.

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Summing up the above-said, a nurse has to use chest tube insertion to drain out excess fluid or air from the lungs. However, they need expert knowledge in the insertion and, the management of the chest tubes to avoid complications. The use of chest tube is one of the most essential nursing procedures. Most patients who require a chest tube care are always in need of advanced nursing care. Using chest tubes has advantages and disadvantages, thus nurses need of nursing best practices.