In a clinical user preference study performed at the Montreal Heart Institute, surgeons found the system easy to insert and it did not add any time to the procedure. The intensive care nurses found the device easy to use, and effective and efficient in clearing clot from the tubes. Most nurses felt this would save them time by preventing the need to manipulate the tube when it is cleary open, and it provides them a tool to maintain the tube open when clot starts to form.
When chest tubes clog, even if it is partial and intermittent, chest tube drainage can be impaired. When chest tube drainage is impaired, there can be residual fluid or air in the chest that can lead to hemothorax, pneumothorax or pericardial tamponade, which can be called “failure to drain.” To address this surgeons may have to remove that fluid in the post operative period, which can lead to the need for a take back to the operating room for a wash out, the need for an additional chest tube, thoracentesis or pericardiocentesis. Studies show that the need for subsequent procedures for failure to drain occur in as many as 16% of patients after heart surgery. The complications, mortality and cost of care for these patients goes up considerably. Preventing this problem can lead to improved outcomes and reduced costs, saving hospitals significant amounts of money.