14ga x 3 ¼ Needle For Tension Pneumothorax (sterile)
Definition of Tension Pneumothorax:
A tension pneumothorax is a complete collapse of the lung. It occurs when air enters, but does not leave, the space around the lung (pleural space).
Any condition that leads to pneumothorax can cause a tension pneumothorax. In uncomplicated pneumothorax, air can enter and leave the pleural space easily. In tension pneumothorax, however, air enters the pleural space with each breath and gets trapped there.
As the amount of trapped air increases, pressure builds up in the chest. The lung collapses on that side and can push the important structures in the center of the chest (such as the heart, major blood vessels, and airways) toward the other side of the chest. The shift can cause the other lung to become compressed, and can affect the flow of blood returning to the heart.
These patients typically experience significant respiratory distress and may also have:
Unilateral absence of breath sounds
Presence of distended neck veins
Hypertympanic percussion note over affected side.
This situation can lead to low blood pressure, shock, and death.
If you have symptoms of tension pneumothorax, get immediate medical treatment.
Treatment removes the air from the pleural space, allowing the lung to re-expand. In an emergency, This needle may be placed into the chest cavity through the ribs to relieve pressure.
(The 1st rib cannot normally be felt. The 2nd rib can be felt just below the collar bone. The 2nd intercostal space is the area between the 2nd and 3rd rib.)
1. Identifiy the 2nd rib, 2nd intercostal space, and the mid-clavilicular line (center of the collar bone).
2. Insert the needle just over the 3rd rib, through the intercostal muscles and into the chest cavity.
3. A "hiss" of air confirms the presence of pneumothorax and is effective treatment for it.