A short-cut review was carried out to establish whether the traditional three-sided dressing is better than a one-way chest seal at preventing the respiratory complications from penetrating chest trauma. Only one animal study, two guidelines and two case reports provided published evidence relevant to the question. The author, date and country of publication, patient group studied, study type, relevant outcomes, results and study weaknesses of these papers are tabulated. The clinical bottom line is that there is very little evidence, but that the one-way seals may have practical advantages, particularly in the out-of-hospital setting.
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