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    ABSTRACT: Background Blunt chest injury is not uncommon in trauma patients. Hemothorax and pneumothorax may occur in these patients, and some of them will develop retained pleural collections. Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) has become an appropriate method for treating these complications, but the optimal timing for performing the surgery and its effects on outcome are not clearly understood. Materials and Methods In this study, a total of 136 patients who received VATS for the management of retained hemothorax from January 2003 to December 2011 were retrospectively enrolled. All patients had blunt chest injuries and 90% had associated injuries in more than two sites. The time from trauma to operation was recorded and the patients were divided into three groups: 2–3 days (Group 1), 4–6 days (Group 2), and 7 or more days (Group 3). Clinical outcomes such as the length of stay (LOS) at the hospital and intensive care unit (ICU), and duration of ventilator and chest tube use were all recorded and compared between groups. Results The mean duration from trauma to operation was 5.9 days. All demographic characteristics showed no statistical differences between groups. Compared with other groups, Group 3 had higher rates of positive microbial cultures in pleural collections and sputum, longer duration of chest tube insertion and ventilator use. Lengths of hospital and ICU stay in Groups 1 and 2 showed no statistical difference, but were longer in Group 3. The frequency of repeated VATS was lower in Group 1 but without statistically significant difference. Discussion This study indicated that an early VATS intervention would decrease chest infection. It also reduced the duration of ventilator dependency. The clinical outcomes were significantly better for patients receiving VATS within 3 days under intensive care. In this study, we suggested that VATS might be delayed by associated injuries, but should not exceed 6 days after trauma.
    Injury 09/2014; · 2.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Post-traumatic retained hemothorax is a major risk factor for empyema thoracis leading to prolonged hospitalization, entrapped lung and a need for decortication. VATS (Video Assisted Thoracoscopy) for retained hemothorax shortens the duration of chest tube drainage and length of stay. From December 2004 to July 2009, 110 consecutive patients underwent VATS for retained or clotted hemothoraces at the Department of Thoracic Surgery, Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, Karachi. Majority of the patients were males (n = 91; 82.7%). Sixty-five patients (59.1%) underwent VATS within 6 days and 45 patients (40.9%) between 7 - 14 days of injury. In 8 patients (7.3%) VATS was abandoned for thoracotomy. Post VATS full lung expansion was achieved in 87 patients (79.0) with complete evacuation of hemothorax. Chest tubes were removed within the first week in 100 patients (90.9%). In hemodynamically stable patients, VATS is a safe, reliable and effective technique for the evacuation of retained hemothorax. Early intervention within 6 days of injury avoids the need for a thoracotomy and is associated with a better short and long-term outcome.
    Journal of the College of Physicians and Surgeons--Pakistan : JCPSP. 03/2013; 23(3):234-6.
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    ABSTRACT: Small pigtail catheters appear to work as well as the traditional large-bore chest tubes in patients with traumatic pneumothorax, but it is not known whether the smaller pigtail catheters are associated with less tube-site pain. This study was conducted to compare tube-site pain following pigtail catheter or chest tube insertion in patients with uncomplicated traumatic pneumothorax. This prospective randomized trial compared 14-Fr pigtail catheters and 28-Fr chest tubes in patients with traumatic pneumothorax presenting to a level I trauma centre from July 2010 to February 2012. Patients who required emergency tube placement, those who refused and those who could not respond to pain assessment were excluded. Primary outcomes were tube-site pain, as assessed by a numerical rating scale, and total pain medication use. Secondary outcomes included the success rate of pneumothorax resolution and insertion-related complications. Forty patients were enrolled. Baseline characteristics of 20 patients in the pigtail catheter group were similar to those of 20 patients in the chest tube group. No patient had a flail chest or haemothorax. Pain scores related to chest wall trauma were similar in the two groups. Patients with a pigtail catheter had significantly lower mean(s.d.) tube-site pain scores than those with a chest tube, at baseline after tube insertion (3·2(0·6) versus 7·7(0·6); P < 0·001), on day 1 (1·9(0·5) versus 6·2(0·7); P < 0·001) and day 2 (2·1(1.1) versus 5·5(1·0); P = 0·040). The decreased use of pain medication associated with pigtail catheter was not significantly different. The duration of tube insertion, success rate and insertion-related complications were all similar in the two groups. For patients with a simple, uncomplicated traumatic pneumothorax, use of a 14-Fr pigtail catheter is associated with reduced pain at the site of insertion, with no other clinically important differences noted compared with chest tubes. Registration number: NCT01537289 (http://clinicaltrials.gov).
    British Journal of Surgery 01/2014; 101(2):17-22. · 4.84 Impact Factor