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PC.65 A tale of pigtails – Audit on the outcome and efficacy of pigtail catheters
  1. R Parige,
  2. A Mishra
  1. Bolton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Bolton, UK



  1. To study the outcome of all pigtail chest drain insertions to treat pneumothorax on our NNU

  2. To study the efficacy of different sizes of pigtail chest drains.

Methods Audit of all babies who developed pneumothoraces from June 2010 to May 2012 and re-audit from June 2012 to May 2013.

Initial audit 16 babies had pigtail catheters inserted for drainage of a pneumothorax. 4 babies were born at term. The gestation in the 12 preterm babies ranged between 25+3 and 35+2 weeks.

For 5 babies the chest drain was found to be ineffective in draining the pneumothorax. The size of the pigtail catheter used was 5F in 3 babies on 7 occasions, 8.5F in one baby and size was not mentioned in another one.

We recommended the use of 8.5 F pigtail catheters in all gestations for effective drainage.

Re audit Out of 13 babies, 10 were preterm (between 23 and 36 weeks).

8.5 F pigtail chest drain was inserted in 7 babies without the need for subsequent chest drains. 4 babies remained asymptomatic and did not need a chest drain. Traditional drain and needle thoracocentesis was used to drain in one patient each.

Conclusions We noticed that the use of 5F pigtail catheter was ineffective in draining the pneumothoraces. Since introducing the use of size 8.5 F pigtails only, there has been no re-accumulation following chest drain insertion.

There have been no adverse events during insertion of pigtail catheters.

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