Glossary Entry: Pleural Drainage Catheter


Definition: A pleural drainage catheter is a medical device used to remove excess fluid or air from the pleural space surrounding the lungs. It helps alleviate symptoms of pleural effusion, pneumothorax, or other respiratory conditions by draining the accumulated fluid or air.

Detailed Description

Types and Variations

Variations: Pleural drainage catheters may vary in size and design, with some specifically designed for prolonged drainage and others for temporary use.


Common Uses: This device is commonly used in cases of pleural effusion, pneumothorax, empyema, or hemothorax to relieve pressure on the lungs and improve respiratory function.

Insertion and Placement

Procedure: The insertion and placement of the pleural drainage catheter require careful consideration of the location of the effusion or pneumothorax. The procedure involves specific techniques like the Seldinger technique to guide the catheter into the pleural space.

Clinical Considerations

Potential Complications

Risks: Potential complications related to the use of pleural drainage catheters include infection, pneumothorax, and bleeding at the insertion site.

Care and Maintenance

Maintenance Requirements: Proper care and maintenance of the pleural drainage catheter involve regular monitoring for blockages, changing of drainage bags, and ensuring a sterile dressing at the insertion site to prevent infection.

Additional Information

Related Devices

Associated Terms: Pleurodesis, thoracentesis, chest tube

Innovations and Advancements

Recent Developments: The development of smaller, more flexible catheters and improved drainage systems has enhanced the efficiency and comfort of pleural drainage procedures.

Regulatory and Safety Notes

Regulations: Healthcare providers must adhere to strict regulatory guidelines for the use and maintenance of pleural drainage catheters to ensure patient safety and optimal functionality.