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Thorac Surg Clin. 2010 Aug;20(3):413-20. doi: 10.1016/j.thorsurg.2010.03.007.

Digital and smart chest drainage systems to monitor air leaks: the birth of a new era?

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  • 1Section of Thoracic Surgery, Division of Cardiothoracic University, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 703 19th Street, SZRB 736, Birmingham, AL, USA.


Recently, several companies have manufactured and commercialized new pleural drainage units that incorporate electronic components for the digital quantification of air through chest tubes and, in some instances, pleural pressure assessment. The goal of these systems is to objectify this previously subjective bedside clinical parameter and allow for more objective, consistent measurement of air leaks. The belief is this will lead to quicker and more accurate chest tube management. In addition, some systems feature portable suction devices. These may afford earlier mobilization of patients because the pleural drainage chamber is attached to a battery-powered smart suction device. In this article we review the clinical experiences using these new devices.

Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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