Intercostal chest drains: a wake-up call from the National Patient Safety Agency rapid response report

Intercostal chest drains have been well established in the management of pneumothorax and pleural effusion, and explicit guidelines exist for the indications for inserting a chest drain. In May 2008 the UK’s National Patient Safety Agency issued a rapid response report entitled Risks of chest drain insertion, highlighting significant complications directly related to intercostal chest drain insertions.