Original Article

Tube Thoracostomy: Is an Emergency Physician Adequate for the Job?


  • Sinem Doğruyol
  • Vehbi Özaydın
  • Halil Tözüm
  • Onur İncealtın
  • Didem Ay

Received Date: 14.04.2017 Accepted Date: 10.05.2017 Eurasian J Emerg Med 2017;16(3):97-101


The aim of this study was to evaluate patients with spontaneous pneumothorax who were admitted to the Medeniyet University Goztepe Training and Research Hospital and to emphasize that effective treatment can be performed in emergency departments by emergency physicians.

Materials and Methods:

Patients who were treated for spontaneous pneumothorax between January 1, 2013 and January 1, 2015 were retrospectively evaluated. Patient records were reviewed for variables, including patient age, sex, body mass index, smoking history, comorbidities, presenting complaints, localization and extent of pneumothorax, treatment method, surgical indications, relapse, morbidity and mortality rates, and duration of hospitalization.


In total, 50 spontaneous pneumothorax cases were evaluated in this study (41 males and 9 females), and the mean age was 33.3±14.9 years. Of these, 38 (76.0%) were primary and 12 (24.0%) were secondary spontaneous pneumothorax cases. Spontaneous pneumothorax cases were observed more often during the winter months (46.0%). The leading presenting symptom of patients with comorbidities was dyspnea (71.4%), whereas that of patients without comorbidities was chest pain (66.7%). Complications due to tube thoracostomy occurred in 15.1% of the patients. The mean duration of hospitalization for patients with spontaneous pneumothorax was 5.0±2.2 days.


Spontaneous pneumothorax is a common condition that requires effective treatment in emergency medicine practice. Emergency physicians should be well aware of the significance of this clinical condition and its treatment methods. Tube thoracostomy, with its low complication rate, is a procedure that can be safely performed by emergency physicians in emergency departments in hospitals.

Keywords: Emergency medicine, spontaneous pneumothorax, tube thoracostomy