How can complications from diagnostic thoracentesis be reduced during workup for pleural effusion (fluid on the lungs)?

Updated: Dec 28, 2018
  • Author: Kamran Boka, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Guy W Soo Hoo, MD, MPH  more...
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Answer

The frequency of complications from thoracentesis may be lower when a more experienced clinician performs the procedure and when ultrasonographic guidance is used. [38] Consequently, a skilled and experienced clinician should perform thoracentesis in patients who have a higher risk of complications or relative contraindications for thoracentesis and in patients who cannot sit upright.


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