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Management of complicated parapneumonic effusions and thoracic empyema

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Abstract:

The optimal management of loculated para¬≠pneumonic effusions and empyema includes breakdown of adhesions to effect drainage of infected pleural fluid. The use of fibrinolytics intrapleurally appears to enhance intercostal tube drainage, reducing the requirement for subsequent surgical mechan¬≠ical debridement. This article discusses the evidence for intrapleural fibrinolytics, their good safety profile and the practicalities of dose and administration. It also reviews early surgical intervention, which may be indicated for medical treatment failure and, some would argue, as a suitable alternative to other medical interventions. (Intern Med J 2002; 32: 408−414)

Keywords: complicated parapneumonic effusion; empyema; fibrinolysis; thoracoscopy; thoracotomy

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1445-5994.2002.00252.x

Affiliations: Intensive Care Unit, Gosford Hospital, Gosford, New South Wales, Australia

Publication date: 2002-08-01

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