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A Journal on Surgery

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Chirurgia 2012 October;25(5):363-4

language: English

A case advocating active tube clearing devices to avoid postoperative tamponade?

Moss E. 1, Jensen H. 1, Garceau P. 2, Perrault L. P. 1

1 Department of Cardiac Surgery, Montreal Heart Institute, Université de Montréal, Montreal, QC, Canada;
2 Department of Cardiology, Montreal Heart Institute, Université de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada


Postoperative tamponade due to mediastinal hemorrhage is a morbid and potentially fatal complication following cardiac surgery. Simple mediastinal and pleural drainage tubes currently employed to aid in evacuation of mediastinal blood are prone to obstruction by clot and debris, while commonly employed methods to restore patency are fraught with inherent limitations and risks. This case of closed drainage of cardiac tamponade post sternotomy highlights the possible benefits of newer drainage technologies, such as active tube clearing devices, designed to evacuate mediastinal blood consistently while limiting the risk of infection and trauma due to negative pressure applied to mediastinal structures.

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