The performance and safety of a pleural drainage unit under hyperbaric conditions

Katherine J. Walker, I. L. Millar, A. Fock

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3 Citations (Scopus)


The performance of a proprietary dry suction pleural drainage unit was measured under hyperbaric oxygenation conditions. The test pleural drainage unit was connected to pressure gauges that allowed the pressures created in the suction and collection chambers to be measured as well as the pleural drainage catheter pressures under varied suction regulator settings during compression, hyperbaric steady states and decompression. The maximum flow capacity of the unit was also measured under varying hyperbaric conditions. The Atrium Oasis Dry Suction 3600 Chest Drain brand was dramatically affected by pressure change. Nevertheless, based upon our testing, we believe it can be used safely in a hyperbaric environment provided that the following precautions are taken. Suction should not be applied duri ng pressurization. Pressurization needs to be slow, 10 kpa/min or less. Suction is needed for air leaks of 4/min or more at pressure. At stable hyperbaric pressure, the level of suction delivered can be set by adjusting the suction regulator with reference to the conversion table we have determined. Suction must be applied during depressurization if there is an air leak of 5/min or greater coming from the patient, otherwise suction is not essential. As the features of many brands and models of proprietary drains are similar, we would expect other types could be hyperbaric compatible, but individual testing should be performed before acceptance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-67
Number of pages7
JournalAnaesthesia and Intensive Care
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2006


  • Chest drain
  • Chest tube
  • Flow
  • Hyberbaric oxygenation
  • Pleural drainage unit
  • Pneumothorax
  • Suction

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