Managing iatrogenic pneumothorax and chest tubes

Andrea Loiselle, James M. Parish, James A. Wilkens, Dawn E. Jaroszewski

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Iatrogenic pneumothorax has become an increasingly recognized complication of routine outpatient procedures, such as transthoracic needle biopsies of the lung and transbronchial lung biopsies. Patients with clinically significant pneumothorax are typically managed with evacuation via a percutaneously placed catheter or chest tube. Tube thoracotomy and chest tube management have traditionally been performed by cardiothoracic surgeons; however, with the increasing number of interventional radiologists and interventional pulmonologists, more chest tubes are being placed by specialists who do not admit and manage patients in the hospital setting. The responsibility for the admission of these patients to the hospital service has fallen to the internist. Hospitalists caring for such patients are often expected to manage the chest tube. General internal medicine training and the existing medical literature provide few guidelines to assist with this issue. We present a discussion of the current published literature and our management algorithms for hospitalists caring for patients admitted with iatrogenic pneumothorax.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)402-408
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of hospital medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2013


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