An indwelling pleural catheter is a thin, flexible tube that is inserted under your skin and into your chest. The catheter drains excess fluid that collects in the area between the chest wall and the lungs (pleural space). Once it is inserted, the catheter can be attached to a bottle that collects fluid.
The pleural catheter will allow you to drain fluid from your chest at home on a regular (sometimes daily) basis. This eliminates the need for frequent visits to the hospital or clinic to drain the fluid. It may be removed after 2–3 months, once the excess fluid problem is resolved. It is important to follow instructions from your health care provider about how to drain and care for your catheter.
How to care for your catheter and insertion site
Wash your hands with soap and warm water…show more content… Wipe the catheter tip with a clean alcohol wipe.
Place a clean cap on the end of the catheter.
Replace the dressing over the catheter.
Empty the liquid from the drainage bottle and throw the bottle away. Do not reuse the drainage bottle.
How to change your dressing
Change your dressing at least once a week, or more often if needed to keep the dressing dry. Always change the dressing if it becomes moist. Your health care provider will tell you how often to change your dressing.
Wash your hands with soap and warm water. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer.
Gently remove the old dressing. Avoid using scissors to remove the dressing. Sharp objects may damage the catheter.
Wash the skin around the insertion site with mild soap and warm water. Rinse well, then pat the area dry with a clean cloth.
Check the skin around the catheter for signs of infection. If your catheter was stitched (sutured) to your skin, look at the suture to make sure it is still anchored in your skin. Do not apply creams, ointments, or alcohol to the area.
Let your skin air dry