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A device that drains air from the chest is being used to treat thousands of patients who have suffered a collapsed lung - while they relax at home

por Bella Bradshaw (2020-08-04)


A device that drains air from the chest is being used to treat thousands of patients who have suffered a collapsed lung - while they relax at home.

The portable gadget, which is not much bigger than a ballpoint pen, slashes the time patients need to spend in hospital from three or four days to under an hour.

'It is an absolute game-changer,' says Dr Sam Hare, consultant chest radiologist at the Royal Free London NHS Trust.

'It means patients who currently need treatment for a collapsed lung but fear being admitted to hospital because of coronavirus can go home in under an hour and keep shielding.'

Dr Hare and colleagues have so far treated an estimated 3,000 patients with the portable chest drain, but it's estimated fewer than one in ten NHS trusts are using it.

Now NHS England is urging all hospital trusts to adopt it.

The portable gadget, which is not much bigger than a ballpoint pen, slashes the time patients need to spend in hospital from three or 비아그라효과 four days to under an hour

Collapsed lungs - known by the medical term pneumothorax - are relatively common. One of the most frequent causes are lung biopsies, where doctors remove a tiny bit of tissue to check for signs of cancer.

Every year the NHS performs tens of thousands of them, but up to one in five results in a collapsed lung.

To reinflate it, doctors must first drain off the excess air that has collected in the chest and is compressing the lung.

This has traditionally involved inserting a tube the width of a garden hose through an incision between the patient's ribs and attaching it to a large bottle of sterile water. 

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As the air escapes, it passes into the bottle and is trapped in the water so it cannot travel back up the tube. The whole process can take several days and leave a noticeable scar.

<div class="art-ins mol-factbox floatRHS health" data-version="2" id="mol-7a474ec0-a813-11ea-ab25-0b6bd1eacdf8" website gadget to treat collapsed lungs allows Britons to lounge at home