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COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

Why is there air after fluid removal?

11/04/2008

Question:

my son who is still in the hospital now because in his chest xray 2/3 of his lungs was covered w/ water/fluids, he was inserted with tube to drain the water, after 2days drain stops, again he had xray there is air in thelung now, so the tube was not removed and they used a saction machine to let air out. Why is it that my doctor only see air in lungs, after.

Answer:

It sounds like there was a build up of fluid in the "pleural space" - the space between the lungs and the chest wall. That space usually contains a tiny amount of fluid and no air. Sometimes when a tube is introduced to drain the fluid, air can get in there and this needs to be drained as well.

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Response by:

Mahasti   Rittinger, RRT Mahasti Rittinger, RRT
Clinical Program Manager of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University