What does the water seal chamber do?

What does the water seal chamber do?

The middle chamber of a traditional chest drainage system is the water seal. The main purpose of the water seal is to allow air to exit from the pleural space on exhalation and prevent air from entering the pleural cavity or mediastinum on inhalation.

How does water seal chest tube work?

Chest drains also known as under water sealed drains (UWSD) are inserted to allow draining of the pleural spaces of air, blood or fluid, allowing expansion of the lungs and restoration of negative pressure in the thoracic cavity. The underwater seal also prevents backflow of air or fluid into the pleural cavity.

What does constant bubbling in the water seal chamber mean?

The water in the water-seal chamber should rise with inhalation and fall with exhalation (this is called tidaling), which demonstrates that the chest tube is patent. Continuous bubbling may indicate an air leak, and newer systems have a measurement system for leaks — the higher the number, the greater the air leak.

Can hemothorax cause death?

In severe cases, hemothorax can cause the body to go into shock, which may be fatal.

How much water should be in the water seal chamber?

2 cm.
LEVEL OF WATER IN WATER SEAL CHAMBER The water level should be at 2 cm. Water may need to be added due to evaporation. Add as needed through short suction tube. Water may need to be withdrawn if chamber is overfilled.

What does water seal mean?

Definition of water seal : a seal formed by water to prevent the passage of gas.

What are the indications for under water seal drainage?


  • Pneumothorax (spontaneous, tension, iatrogenic, traumatic)
  • Pleural collection – Pus ( empyema), blood ( hemothorax), chyle ( chylothorax)
  • Malignant effusions (pleurodesis)
  • Postoperative.
  • Thoracotomy.
  • Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS)

What is the difference between wet and dry chest tubes?

Systems which employ a mechanical check-valve and a mechanical regulator are known as dry systems, whereas systems that retain a UWS but use a mechanical regulator are called wet-dry systems. Systems which use a water seal and water column regulator are called wet systems.

What is the difference between pleural effusion and hemothorax?

A hemothorax (plural: hemothoraces), or rarely hematothorax, literally means blood within the chest, is a term usually used to describe a pleural effusion due to accumulation of blood. If a hemothorax occurs concurrently with a pneumothorax it is then termed a hemopneumothorax.

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