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This is a multi-centre randomised study investigating ambulatory chest catheter drainage devices in the treament of primary pneumothorax.

BACKGROUND

Pneumothorax - air in the pleural space, or more widely known as a collapsed lung - is common (~3,000 patients per year in the UK). The term primary spontaneous pneumothorax (PSP) is used to describe those cases that occur in the absence of trauma, in patients with no underlying established lung disease. Not all patients need to have treatment; such patients are just closely observed until the condition improves on its own. However, many patients will need treatment to re-inflate the lung. In some cases aspiration (removal) of air from the pleural space using cannula and syringe will be enough, but many will need to have a chest drain inserted with standard underwater seal. The average hospital in-patient stay for people having this treatment is 6-8 days. Portable ‘ambulatory’ devices (such as the Rocket Pleural Vent) provide the option to treat these patients as an outpatient while their lung reinflates. This study compares ambulatory to standard (in-patient treatment with aspiration/chest drain) management of primary pneumothorax.