Background: The safe insertion of a chest drain is a skill doctors across specialties require. Incorrect placement can lead to significant morbidity and even mortality.
Methods: This audit surveyed junior doctors working in a teaching hospital about their specialty and level of experience with intercostal drains. They were then asked to mark on a photograph where they would insert a chest drain for a pneumothorax in a non-emergency situation.
Results: Of the 55 junior doctors surveyed, 45% were outside the safe area of chest drain insertion as defined by the British Thoracic Society. The most common error was a choice of insertion site too low (24%).
Conclusions: In this audit 45% of juniors surveyed would have placed a chest drain outside the safe triangle recommended by the British Thoracic Society. The common mistake of a choice of insertion site too low should be discussed in postgraduate teaching programmes.
- chest drain
- junior doctors
Statistics from Altmetric.com
Conflicts of interest: none declared.
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.