The chest is lined with the pleura, the lung is covered with the pleura. These two smooth skins, which are collectively referred to as the pleura, make it possible that in the lung during breathing can move without friction. The slipping is additionally supported by a small amount of liquid that is in the pleural cavity, the space between the ribs and pleura. If there is more fluid in the pleural cavity, however, it restricts the lungs and hinder breathing (pleural effusion). The same applies to air in the pleural cavity (pneumothorax).

Cause of pleural effusion is often a result of heart failure, because of the blood is not effective enough away from the lungs is pumped into the body. The “excess” blood blocked up and pushes fluid into the pleural cavity. The pleural effusion may also be the consequence of various inflammatory diseases have, after an accident or an operation may occur. A purulent pleural effusion called empyema, pleural effusion as a bloody hemothorax. Also, a pneumothorax is a type of pleural effusion, but with air instead of liquid.

pleural _effusion

All these types of pleural effusion can cause the lung is concentrated and therefore their ability to function suffer. Therefore, air and fluids derived from the lungs to allow the lungs to expand back to its normal size, and other organs are not damaged. The classical treatment of a pleural effusion is a drain. The puncture site is first anesthetized. Then, a hollow needle is inserted into the pleural cavity, where it also introduced an anesthetic. Via a small incision then a tube is pushed into the pleural cavity and fixed to the skin.

Through the hose the liquid is sucked through a suction or negative pressure. The drain is removed only when the lung has expanded again, the pleural effusion was also removed. This can take several days. In a pleura Emphysem, which is a purulent effusion, the purulent fluid is sucked out not only the pleural cavity is flushed with an antibacterial solution and in most cases with antibiotic treatment. In addition to the usual surgical risks with this procedure can also be injured lung, so as to cause a pneumothorax. The surgery is no guarantee that will not re-form a pleural effusion and a new chest drainage is necessary.