Point-of-care ultrasound for assisting in needle aspiration of spontaneous pneumothorax in the pediatric ED: A case series

Carrie Ng, James W. Tsung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

There is controversy regarding needle aspiration for primary spontaneous pneumothorax (PSP), with contradictory recommendations between the American College of Chest Physicians consensus statement (2001), which suggests that needle aspiration has little place in the management of PSP, and the British Thoracic Society guidelines (2010), which recommend that needle aspiration be attempted first for all cases of PSP where drainage is deemed necessary. Studies have shown that there is no significant difference between needle aspiration and tube thoracostomy with regard to safety, rates of immediate success, and early failure and has the advantages of decreasing pain and reducing rates of hospital admission and duration of hospital stay compared with tube thoracostomy. Point-of-care ultrasound (US) can facilitate needle aspiration by decreasing the risk of complications and detect pneumothorax resolution during or re-expansion after the procedure. This is a case series where the sonographic finding of the "lung point" on point-of-care US was used to facilitate needle aspiration to monitor pneumothorax resolution during or re-expansion after the procedure. We report 3 cases of PSP in adolescents presenting to the pediatric emergency department (ED), where needle aspiration was safely performed by using US to track the sonographic finding of the lung point. This technique allows the determination of pneumothorax resolution or re-expansion in real time. Point-of-care US may assist in the evaluation and management of spontaneous pneumothorax in the pediatric ED. Ultrasound-assisted needle aspiration may be a safe and less painful option for pediatric ED patients with PSP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)488.e3-488.e8
JournalAmerican Journal of Emergency Medicine
Volume32
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2014

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