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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 91-95

Management of chest drains: A national survey on surgeons-in-training experience and practice

1 Department of Surgery, Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, Irrua, Edo State, Nigeria
2 Department of Surgery, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos, Lagos State, Nigeria
3 Department of Surgery, Aminu Kano University Teaching Hospital, Kano, Kano State, Nigeria
4 Department of Surgery, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Enugu State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Emeka B Kesieme
Department of Surgery, Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, Irrua, Edo State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1117-6806.162569

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Background: Chest tube insertion is a simple and sometimes life-saving procedure performed mainly by surgical residents. However with inadequate knowledge and poor expertise, complications may be life threatening. Objective: We aimed to determine the level of experience and expertise of resident surgeons in performing tube thoracostomy. Methodology: Four tertiary institutions were selected by simple random sampling. A structured questionnaire was administered to 90 residents after obtaining consent. Results: The majority of respondents were between 31 and 35 years. About 10% of respondents have not observed or performed tube thoracostomy while 77.8% of respondents performed tube thoracostomy for thefirst time during residency training. The mean score was 6.2 ± 2.2 and 59.3% of respondents exhibited good experience and practice. Rotation through cardiothoracic surgery had an effect on the score (P = 0.034). About 80.2% always obtained consent while 50.6% always used the blunt technique of insertion. About 61.7% of respondents routinely inserted a chest drain in the Triangle of safety. Only 27.2% of respondents utilized different sizes of chest tubes for different pathologies. Most respondents removed chest drains when the output is <50 mL. Twenty-six respondents (32.1%) always monitored air leak before removal of tubes in cases of pneumothorax. Superficial surgical site infection, tube dislodgement, and tube blockage were the most common complications. Conclusion: Many of the surgical resident lack adequate expertise in this lifesaving procedure and they lose the opportunity to learn it as interns. There is a need to stress the need to acquire this skill early, to further educate and evaluate them to avoid complications.

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