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Occlusion of chest drain bottle air outlet
  1. J A CORLESS,
  2. M BARBORES,
  3. S DONOGHUE,
  4. M G PEARSON,
  5. R W COSTELLO
  1. Aintree Chest Centre
  2. University Hospital Aintree
  3. Liverpool L9 7AL, UK
  4. johncorless@hotmail.com
  1. Dr M G Pearson.

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Treatment of a pneumothorax often requires insertion of an intercostal chest drain. Usually the tube is connected to an underwater seal which acts as a one way valve, allowing air to escape from the pleural space and thereby preventing the development of a tension pneumothorax. We wish to highlight the case of a patient who developed a potentially life threatening problem resulting from the partial occlusion of a chest drain bottle air outlet port by a plastic cap supplied with the equipment.

A 60 year old man with COPD developed a large right pneumothorax. Aspiration was unsuccessful so a chest drain was inserted. This was connected …

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