Which symptoms indicate that a therapeutic thoracentesis should be stopped immediately in patients with 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 onset of chest pressure or pain during the removal of fluid indicates a lung that is not freely expanding, and the procedure should be stopped immediately to avoid reexpansion pulmonary edema. [47] In contrast, cough frequently occurs during removal of fluid, and this is not an indication to stop the procedure, unless the cough is causing the patient discomfort.


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