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Tube Thoracostomy for Trauma is a topic covered in the Pediatric Surgery NaT.

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Surgical Decision Making

The majority (76%) of chest injuries resulting in pneumothorax or hemothorax require only a tube thoracostomy for successful treatment [1][2][3].

One of the most common errors in the management of a significant hemothorax is placing a chest tube that is not large enough to adequately evacuate blood.

Chest tube sizes by patient weight [1]



Chest tube size

newborn to 1 year

3-5 kg

10-12 Fr

1 to 2 years

6-9 kg

12-16 Fr

2 to 4 years

10-11 kg

16-20 Fr

12-14 kg

20-22 Fr

5 to 7 years

15-18 kg

22-24 Fr

19-22 kg

24-28 Fr

8 to 11 years

23-30 kg

28-32 Fr

greater than 11 years

> 30 kg

32-42 Fr

Training models have been developed and successfully implemented to teach pediatric chest tube insertion to pediatric and pediatric emergency department residents [4].

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Last updated: May 4, 2016


Lopushinsky, Steven R. "Tube Thoracostomy for Trauma." Pediatric Surgery NaT, American Pediatric Surgical Association, 2016. APSA Webapp, www.pedsurglibrary.com/apsa/view/Pediatric-Surgery-NaT/829227/all/Tube_Thoracostomy_for_Trauma.
Lopushinsky SR. Tube Thoracostomy for Trauma. In: Waldhausen J, Powell D, Hirschl R, eds. Pediatric Surgery NaT. American Pediatric Surgical Association; 2016. https://www.pedsurglibrary.com/apsa/view/Pediatric-Surgery-NaT/829227/all/Tube_Thoracostomy_for_Trauma. Accessed June 16, 2019.
Lopushinsky, S. R. (2016). Tube Thoracostomy for Trauma. In Waldhausen, J., Powell, D., & Hirschl, R. (Eds.), Pediatric Surgery NaT. Available from https://www.pedsurglibrary.com/apsa/view/Pediatric-Surgery-NaT/829227/all/Tube_Thoracostomy_for_Trauma
Lopushinsky SR. Tube Thoracostomy for Trauma [Internet]. In: Waldhausen J, Powell D, Hirschl R, editors. Pediatric Surgery NaT. American Pediatric Surgical Association; 2016. [cited 2019 June 16]. Available from: https://www.pedsurglibrary.com/apsa/view/Pediatric-Surgery-NaT/829227/all/Tube_Thoracostomy_for_Trauma.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - Tube Thoracostomy for Trauma ID - 829227 A1 - Lopushinsky,Steven,MD, MSc ED - Waldhausen,John, ED - Powell,David, ED - Hirschl,Ron, Y1 - 2016/05/04/ BT - Pediatric Surgery NaT UR - https://www.pedsurglibrary.com/apsa/view/Pediatric-Surgery-NaT/829227/all/Tube_Thoracostomy_for_Trauma PB - American Pediatric Surgical Association DB - APSA Webapp DP - Unbound Medicine ER -