Pleural drainage is used as a treatment when there is a hole in the visceral or parietal pleura surrounding the lungs (pneumothorax), causing the lung to collapse completely or partially.
By inserting a chest drain, the air leaking from the lung can be suctioned out, enabling the pleural sac to heal. Generally, the air will stop leaking after 3-5 days. During treatment, the amount of fluid and air coming out of the chest drain is checked. When the flow of liquid and air ceases, the medical staff will shut off the suction for 4 hours. Then the staff will check whether additional fluid/air has collected in the pleural cavity. If no air or fluid is visible on a pulmonary X-ray, the chest drain can be removed.
A suction pump that controls the pressure precisely is used to apply continuous suction. It is called Thopaz. The apparatus also provides information on the amount of air that is draining through the chest drain.