Pneumothorax management—chest drain or needle aspiration?

Steven Philip Walker, Nick Maskell


Despite pneumothoraces being described in medical literature as far back as 15th century (1), the optimal way the remove air from the pleural cavity has not yet been ascertained, nor indeed have we determine whether it is necessary to do so at all. The well conducted randomised control trial by Thelle et al. (2) has added to the evidence base concerning one of the fundamental questions: whether needle aspiration (NA) or chest tube drainages (CTD) is superior in evacuating a pneumothorax.