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Comparing the Quality and Complications of Tube Thoracostomy by Emergency Medicine and Surgery Residents; a Cohort Study

Parvin Kashani, Sepideh Harati, Ali Shirafkan, Alireza Amirbeigi, Hamid Reza Hatamabadi




Introduction: Tube thoracostomy complications depend on the operator’s skill, patients’ general condition and the place in which the procedure is done. The present study aimed to compare the quality and complications of tube thoracostomy carried out by emergency medicine residents (EMRs) and surgery residents (SRs).

Methods: This cohort study was conducted on 18-60 years old trauma patients in need of tube thoracostomy presenting to two academic emergency departments. Quality of tube placement and its subsequent complications until tube removal were compared between SRs and EMRs using SPSS 20.

Results: 72 patients with the mean age of 37.1±14.1 years were studied (86.1% male). 23 (63.8%) cases were complicated in SRs and 22 (61.1%) cases in EMRs group (total= 62.5%). Chest drain dislodgement (22.2% in SRs vs. 22.2% EMRs; p>0.99), drainage failure (19.4% in SRs vs. 16.7% EMRs; p=0.50), and surgical site infection (11.1% in SRs vs. 19.4% EMRs; p=0.25) were among the most common observed complications. The overall odds ratio of complication development was 0.89 (95% CI: 0.35-2.25, p = 0.814) for SRs and 1.12 (95% CI: 0.28-4.53, p = 0.867) for EMRs.

Conclusion: The findings of the present study showed no significant difference between SRs and EMRs regarding quality of tube thoracostomy placement and its subsequent complications for trauma patients. The rate of complications were interestingly high (>60%) for both groups.


Thoracostomy; emergency medicine; general surgery; postoperative complications


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22037/emergency.v5i1.15216


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