The aim of this study was to identify the degree of awareness of the current guidelines and common practices for pleural drain insertion.Methods
A 10-item questionnaire was sent electronically to junior physicians from 4 different hospitals in the South Eastern Sydney and Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District. Participants were asked to give their level of experience and management practices for chest drain insertion.Results
A total of 94 junior medical officers from 4 hospitals in the district completed the survey. More than 20% had never inserted a chest drain at the time; 72% had primarily learned from bedside teaching and peer learning, but 11% had no training at all. More than 50% of physicians felt that the biggest threat to the procedure was their own lack of confidence for drain insertion. Despite current guidelines, 25% insert chest drains routinely without the aid of ultrasound. A third of interviewees were aware of local guidelines but had not read them. Most physicians (86%) believe that formal standardized training should be available for junior physicians.Conclusions
Our findings demonstrate the ongoing need for improved procedural training in chest drain insertion, with emphasis on mandatory thoracic ultrasound. We consider it important to continue to raise concern and awareness that chest drain insertion is not a harmless procedure, and further physician procedural competence is required.