Pleural Effusion - Treatment

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What is the treatment for pleural effusion?

Since a pleural effusion may compromise breathing, the ABCs (Airway, Breathing, and Circulation) of resuscitation are often the first consideration to make certain that there is enough oxygen available for the body to function.

The treatment of a pleural effusion usually requires that the underlying illness or disease is treated and controlled to prevent accumulation of the pleural fluid.

While thoracentesis is used as a diagnostic procedure, it can also be therapeutic in removing fluid and allowing the lung to expand and function. Tube thoracostomy, also known as a chest tube, may be placed to drain and treat empyemas (pus collections).

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Medical error, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 09

I developed pleural effusion after I had a fall in my home. I was hospitalized and had fluid drained out of my pleural space. The fluid came back the next day. I had a chest tube placed and had a consult with a thoracic surgeon. I had a thoracotomy and two chest tubes placed. A chest X-ray that was taken at one of my follow-up appointments revealed that I still had mild pleural effusion and a broken rib. I still have both problems 8 months later.

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Comment from: sam, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: October 22

Five years ago I had tuberculosis pleural effusion and underwent ATT (anti tuberculosis treatment). Now, I am suffering acute pain in my left side of the back at the spot from where my lung was punctured 5 years back to drain out the pleural fluid.

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