A case of haemothorax is described which occured after the removal of a small pig-tail chest tube (8.5 F) that was inserted in the second intercostal space in the mid-clavicular line, for primary spontaneous pneumothorax management. The patient was successfully resuscitated and 0.85 l of blood was aspirated. There was no evidence for pre-existing haemothorax, no metal instrument was used and no precipitating factor was present. Thus, it is possible that bleeding was due to a tear of a vessel proximal to the second intercostal space during pig-tail catheter removal by a “grapple-hook” mechanism. Whether a pig-tail catheter in itself carries an additional risk of complications compared with other catheter types is questionable. However, this report highlights the potential danger that accompanies pig-tail drain insertion into the second intercostal space in the mid-clavicular line, and suggests that insertion in other sites is technically easy and potentially safer for pneumothorax drainage.
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Competing interests: None declared.
DM is a recipient of the European Respiratory Society Fellowship No 444. Informed consent was obtained from the patient for publication of their details.
Informed consent was obtained for publication of the person’s details in this report.
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