How Nurses Perform Chest Aspirations in Patients

This are the procedure or steps professional nurses or student nurses still in training can perform chest aspirations in patients in their hospitals wards or clinics.


Requirements on a Trolley:

Top Shelf of the trolley:

–     Sterile tray containing the following:

–     Sterile bowl with gauze, cotton wool swabs two dressing towels

–     Sterile kidney receiver containing two pairs of dressing forceps one ofpair of dissecting forceps

–     2 sterile gallipots

Chest Aspiration Set Containing the Following

–     2 aspiration needles

–     2-aspiration annual

–     One 20 ml syringe

–     Three-way tap and rubber tubing

–     Syringe and needle for local anesthetic

–     Receiver for aspirated fluid

ON RAIL OF TROLLEY: treatment plastic


A tray containing the following:

–     Suitable local anaesthesia

–     A pair of sterile gloves

–     1% or 2% xylocaine

–     Kidney receiver with scissors, strapping

–     10, 5 and 2mls disposable syringes and needles to fit

–     Spirit and chlohedidine 1 in 30

–     Drugs e.g. penicillin 1:1000

–     Stimulant e.g. adrenaline, hydrocortisone, if prescribed

–     File for stimulant

–     Collodion for sealing punctual wound

–     Receiver for swabs

–     Lab. forms and label

–     Paper for recording vital signs

–     Large receiver for used equipments

–     Specimen bottles

–     Salvage bowl with lid for dressing towel

–     Destructive bowl

NOTE:    If patient is for continuous drainage straight length of tubing and glass connection are required.



–     Wash and dry hands

–     Put on mask

–     Mop and set trolley


–     Explain procedure to the client and ask him not to cough without warning during the procedure

–     Screen the client close nearby doors and windows

–     Bring trolley to bedside

–     Place client in a suitable position e.g.

  1. Sitting up and leaning forward over a bed table on which is place a table
  2. Sitting on the edge of bed with legs over the side of the bed, feet resting on a stool, arms resting on bed table
  3. c) The lateral position with pillow to support him

–     Check and record the vital signs

–     Remove lid of bowls on top and bottom shelves

–     Assist doctor with pouring out lotions, holding the local anaesthetic and observing the client

–     At the end of procedure make him comfortable in fowlers positions

–     Remove the screen and wheel away the trolley

–     Measure aspirate, label specimen carefully and send with relevant request forms duly signed to the laboratory

–     Place the used equipment in the large receiver on the lower shelf

–     Apply collodion dressing

–     Remove mackintosh and dressing towel

–     Make client comfortable, check and record vital signs.  TRP, B/P ½ hourly x 6 hours.

–     Record the procedure, noting the amount and nature of the fluid removed

–     Discard trolley

–     Observe sputum for blood

–     Encourage patient to stay in bed x 6 hours.




–     A catheter securely fixed in the pleural cavity

–     Rubber tubing connected to long glass lid

–     Glass connection connecting catheter to rubber tubing

–     Bottle with 2-hole stopper through which are placed two glass tubes

–     One tube is short and acts as an escape route for air in the bottle.  The client’s drain in situ

–     This glass rod must extend 1-2 inches below the surface of water previously placed in the bottle

–     Two drain clamps

–     Sterile water for the bottle

–     Marker for making fluid level in bottle.

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