Prehospital needle thoracostomy: What are the indications and is a post-trauma center arrival chest tube required?

B. C. Axtman, K. E. Stewart, J. M. Robbins, T. Garwe, Z. Sarwar, R. A. Gonzalez, T. L. Zander, F. M. Balla, R. M. Albrecht

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: This study examined the indications for prehospital needle thoracostomy (pNT), the need for tube thoracostomy (TT) following pNT, and the outcomes of patients who underwent pNT. Methods: This study is a retrospective chart review of patients who underwent pNT prior to trauma center arrival. Patients were identified from the trauma registry and a quality improvement (QI) database from 9/2014–9/2018. Results: 59 patients underwent 63 pNTs during the time period. The indication for pNT was “hypotension” in only 5 patients (7.9%). A CT chest was obtained on 51 NT attempts with the catheter in place. In 48 (94.1%) NT attempts, the catheter was not in the pleural space. 44 (69.4%) TTs were placed on admission date. Conclusion: In patients undergoing pNT, hypotension was rarely the indication. Additionally, CT identified the catheter within the pleural space in only 3 (5.8%) NT attempts. TT placement was performed in 79.3% of NT attempts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1138-1142
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of surgery
Volume218
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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