A 40-year-old has developed a pleural effusion. The chest x-ray shows that an accumulation of fluid is present in the left lower lobe of the lung. The physician decides to insert a chest tube to drain the fluid. Where is the insertion site?


•Chest tubes used to drain fluid or blood for an effusion (an abnormal amount of fluid around the lung) are usually placed at the lateral chest wall near the fourth to sixth intercostal space. 

•Since air rises, chest tubes for a pneumothorax (when air leaks into the space between your lungs and chest wall) are often placed at the upper anterior thorax.

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