Comparing a Novel Hand-Held Device for Chest Tube Insertion to the Traditional Open Tube Thoracostomy for Simple Pneumothorax in a Porcine Model


Dilday J, Heidenreich B, Spitzer H, Abuhakmeh Y, Ahnfeldt E, Watt J, Mase VJ 22(4). 41 - 45 (Journal Article)

Background: Tube thoracostomy is the most effective treatment for pneumothorax, and on the battlefield, is lifesaving. In combat, far-forward adoption of open thoracostomy has not been successful. Therefore, the ability to safely and reliably perform chest tube insertion in the far-forward combat theatre would be of significant value. The Reactor is a hand-held device for tube thoracostomy that has been validated for tension pneumothorax compared to needle decompression. Here we investigate whether the Reactor has potential for simple pneumothorax compared to open thoracostomy. Treatment of pneumothorax before tension physiology ensues is critical. Methods: Simple pneumothoraces were created in 5 in-vivo swine models and confirmed with x-ray. Interventions were randomized to open technique (OT, n = 25) and Reactor (RT, n = 25). Post-procedure radiography was used to confirm tube placement and pneumothorax resolution. Video Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery (VATS) was used to evaluate for iatrogenic injuries. 50 chest tubes were placed, with 25 per group. Results: There were no statistical differences between the groups for insertion time, pneumothorax resolution, or estimated blood loss (p = .91 and .83). Injury rates between groups varied, with 28% (n = 7) in the Reactor group and 8% (n = 2) the control group (p = .06). The most common injury was violation of visceral pleura (10%, n = 5, both groups) and violation of the mediastinum (8%, n = 4, both groups). Conclusion: The Reactor device was equal compared to open thoracostomy for insertion time, pneumothorax resolution, and injury rates. The device required smaller incisions compared to tube thoracostomy and may be useful adjunct in simple pneumothorax management.

  • Manufacturer: Breakaway Media, LLC

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