EDUCATIONAL WEBINAR: Evidence-Based Strategy in the Prevention of Complications due to Retained Blood

An Educational Webinar with Presenters: Marc Gillinov, MD, Marc Gerdisch, MD, and Alyson Mehringer, RN discussing the basic principles of Chest Tube Management, the results of a 1 year quality improvement study and the operational perspective from the ICU Nursing Staff.



Clearing the Pathway to Recovery with PleuraFlow® Active Clearance Technology®

Hand w heart-shutterstock_290522693Recovering from heart surgery for patients is difficult and complicated. Every heart surgery patient requires at least one, and often more chest tubes to evacuate blood from around the heart and lungs in the early hours after cardiac surgery until bleeding ceases. But chest tubes are known to frequently clog, leading to retained blood around the heart and lungs.1 Nearly 1 in 5 patients can be demonstrated to have some form of retained blood around the heart or lungs, a condition known as Retained Blood Syndrome (RBS).2

RBS is not a trivial outcome for the patient. Patients with retained blood have longer length of stay, increased readmission rates, higher mortality and significantly increased costs compared to those who don’t. Given this happens in nearly 1 in 5 patients, this costs healthcare systems billions of dollars in healthcare expenditures.2

One particularly measurable complication of RBS is a significantly higher post operative atrial fibrillation (POAF) rate. POAF appears to be triggered in part by inflammation on the surface of the heart, and RBS appears to significantly drive this inflammation.2

Yet RBS and complications like POAF can be significantly reduced by preventing chest tube occlusion with active clearance using PleuraFlow. In a 2016 peer reviewed publication in the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, active clearance of chest tubes in the ICU after heart surgery can reduce RBS by 43% and POAF by 33% in propensity matched patients.3

Why not help clear your patient’s pathway to recovery by preventing chest tube clogging?



  1. Karimov JH, Gillinov A M, Schenck L, Cook M, Kosty Sweeney D, Boyle EM, Fukamachi K. Incidence of chest tube clogging after cardiac surgery: a single-centre prospective observational study. Eur J Cardiothorac Surj 2013; 1-8.
  2. Boyle EM, Gillinov AM, Cohn WE, Ley SJ, Fischlein T, Perrault LP. Retained Blood Syndrome After Cardiac Surgery: A new look at an old problem.Innovations in cardiovascular and thoracic surgery. 2015 Sept/Oct:10(5):296-303.
  3. Sirch J, Ledwon M, Puski T, Boyle EM, Pfeiffer S, Fischlein T. Active Clearance of Chest Drainage Catheters Reduces Retained Blood. Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery.2015 Oct 22. pii: S0022-5223(15)01970-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2015.10.015.