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Needle aspiration is safe and effective for treating primary spontaneous pneumothorax

Aguinagalde Valiente B, Zabaleta Jiménez J, Busca Ostolaza P, Redin Espinal JA, Emparanza Knorr JI, Izquierdo Elena JM

Servicio de Urgencias, Hospital de Donostia, San Sebasti√°n, Spain.

Objective: Our main aim was to demonstrate the efficacy and safety of needle aspiration
for treating primary spontaneous pneumothorax.
Methods: Retrospective study of data collected prospectively for patients who came to
the emergency department with primary spontaneous pneumothorax over a 10-year
period. We compared patients who underwent needle aspiration to those who did not.
Patients who were hospitalized were compared to those managed as outpatients in
terms of recurrences, readmissions, need for surgery, and complications. Variables that
might be related to the success of the procedure were explored.
Results: Patients who underwent needle aspiration were similar to those who did not
with respect to sex, side affected, and pneumothorax size (volume), and smoking
status. Needle aspiration seems to be a protective factor against hospitalization (odds
ratio, 0.7; 95% CI, 0.62-0.78). No significant between-group differences were detected
with respect to recurrence, readmission, or need for surgery. None of the descriptive
variables were related to success or failure of needle aspiration. The incidence of
complications of needle aspiration was 2.4%
Conclusions: Needle aspiration is a safe, effective first-line treatment for primary
spontaneous pneumothorax and does not increase risk for readmission or recurrence.

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