Empyema thoracis in patients undergoing emergent closed tube thoracostomy for thoracic trauma

Am J Surg. 1989 May;157(5):494-7. doi: 10.1016/0002-9610(89)90643-0.


The vast majority of thoracic trauma victims require only observation or tube thoracostomy for definitive treatment of their thoracic injury. Although tube thoracostomy is generally considered a limited intervention, 2 to 25 percent of patients who undergo this procedure develop infectious complications. To determine the incidence and risk factors for the development of empyema thoracis after tube thoracostomy, a retrospective study was undertaken. We found that the development of empyema thoracis was increased in patients whose pleural space was incompletely drained and whose thoracic catheters were in place for a prolonged period.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Catheterization / adverse effects
  • Empyema / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Thoracic Injuries / surgery*
  • Thoracostomy / adverse effects*
  • Thoracostomy / instrumentation
  • Wounds, Gunshot / surgery
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating / surgery
  • Wounds, Stab / surgery