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May 23, 1977

Chest Tube Insertion in Neonates

JAMA. 1977;237(21):2287. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270480027006

To the Editor.—  Pneumothorax is a common cause of respiratory distress in newborn infants. Frequency rates as high as 1% to 2% of all newborn infants have been reported.1 This disorder is frequently encountered in infants with hyaline membrane disease, aspiration pneumonia, and after resuscitation. The use of positive pressure respirators and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) may further increase the frequency.2 The treatment of a pneumothorax depends on the clinical situation and may include close observation, 100% inspired oxygen, needle aspiration, or placement of a chest tube. In moderately or severely symptomatic infants, as well as in infants requiring CPAP or respirator support, insertion of a chest tube is almost always required.Teaching physicians the technique of chest tube placement is difficult because of the urgency of the situation, which requires insertion by a skilled physician. Therefore, we have used the cat as an animal model for