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Monday, October 29, 2007

Thoracentesis Video

Researched and Presented by Anthony
Description: A full Detailed video on Thoracentesis.
Note: You need the latest Flash Player in order to view the video. Download it here.

The video will explain everything you need to know about Thoracentesis, however, here are a few things you need to take note.


Thoracentesis is a procedure to remove fluid from the space between the lining of the outside of the lungs (pleura) and the wall of the chest. Normally, very little fluid is present in this space. An accumulation of excess fluid between the layers of the pleura is called a pleural effusion.

How the Test is Performed

A small area of skin on your chest or back is washed with a sterilizing solution. Some numbing medicine (local anesthetic) is injected in this area. A needle is then placed through the skin of the chest wall into the space around the lungs called the pleural space. Fluid is withdrawn and collected and may be sent to a laboratory for analysis (pleural fluid analysis).

How to Prepare for the Test

A consent is necessary. Failure to do so will really put the blame on you.

A chest x-ray may be performed before and after the test.

Tell the patient/client not to cough, and tell the client not to breathe deeply, or move during the test to avoid injury to the lung.

How the Test Will Feel

The client will be on a bed or may sit on the edge of a chair or bed with his/her head and arms resting on a table. The skin around the procedure site is disinfected and the area is draped. A local anesthetic is injected into the skin. The thoracentesis needle is inserted above the rib into the pleural space.

There will be a stinging sensation when the local anesthetic is injected, and the client may feel a sensation of pressure when the needle is inserted into the pleural space.

Tell the client to inform the health care provider if he/she develops shortness of breath or chest pain.

Why the Test is Performed

The test is performed to determine the cause of the fluid accumulation or to relieve the symptoms associated with the fluid accumulation.

Normal Results

Normally the pleural cavity contains only a very small amount of fluid.

What Abnormal Results Mean

The analysis of the fluid will indicate possible causes of pleural effusion such as infection, cancer, heart failure, cirrhosis, and kidney disease. If infection is suspected, a culture of the fluid is often done to determine whether microorganisms are present and if so, to identify them.

Additional conditions under which the test may be performed include the following:

* Pneumonia
* Hemothorax
* Pulmonary veno-occlusive disease
* Pancreatitis
* Pulmonary embolism
* Thyroid disease
* Collagen vascular disease
* Asbestos-related pleural effusion
* Drug reactions


* Pneumothorax (collapse of the lung)
* Fluid re-accumulation
* Pulmonary edema
* Bleeding
* Infection
* Respiratory distress


A chest x-ray is often done after the procedure to detect possible complications.


Served as primary source.

Provided a downloadable version of the video.

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