Chest tubes drain blood, fluid, or air from around your lungs, heart, or esophagus. The tube around your lung is placed between your ribs and into the space between the inner lining and the outer lining of your chest cavity. This is called the pleural space. It is done to allow your lungs to fully expand.
Keeping this in consideration, is bubbling in a chest tube normal?
Intermittent bubbling, corresponding to respirations in the water-seal chamber, indicates an air leak from the pleural space; it should resolve as the lung reexpands. If bubbling in the water-seal chamber is continuous, suspect a leak in the system.
What are the indications for a chest tube?
Indications for chest drains include the following:
- Pneumothorax (spontaneous, tension, iatrogenic, traumatic)
- Pleural collection – Pus ( empyema), blood (hemothorax), chyle ( chylothorax)
- Malignant effusions (pleurodesis)
- Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS)