What are contraindications for tube thoracostomy?

Updated: Feb 24, 2020
  • Author: Gil Z Shlamovitz, MD, FACEP; Chief Editor: Nader Kamangar, MD, FACP, FCCP, FCCM  more...
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The need for emergent thoracotomy is an absolute contraindication to tube thoracostomy.

Relative contraindications include the following:

  • Coagulopathy

  • Pulmonary bullae

  • Pulmonary, pleural, or thoracic adhesions

  • Loculated pleural effusion or empyema

  • Skin infection over the chest tube insertion site

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