In this section
Fluid or air that accumulates in the pleural space will reduce lung expansion and lead to respiratory compromise and hypoxia.
Insertion of an intercostal catheter (ICC) enables drainage of air or fluid from the pleural space, allowing negative intra-thoracic pressures to be re-established leading to lung re-expansion.
Local anaesthetic and intravenous analgesia are mandatory, as ICC placement is a painful procedure. The use of sedation should always be discussed with a senior emergency doctor, as it can potentially worsen the patient's clinical condition.
Establish patient on continuous cardiac monitoring and pulse oximetry
Reassess ABCs and ensure ICC is functioning