oa Central African Journal of Medicine - The level of the iIntercostal drain and other determinant factors in the conservative approach to penetrating chest injuries

Volume 26, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0008-9176



One hundred and sixty-three hemithoraces were treated with an intercostal drain (I.C.D.) in random positions for civilian penetrating chest injuries. All 27 pneumothoraces resolved satisfactorily. Of the 136 haemo (pneumo) - -thoraces, 12 did not resolve adequately over a 6 month period. Only 4 (2,4%) needed a thoracotomy for pleural toilet. It was found that the delay in treatment, the initial amount of free blood in the chest and active physiotherapy were all of considerable importance in the eventual outcome. The vertical site of the intercostal drain did not seem to playa critical role in the resolution in contrast to classical teaching.

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