Use of the Pleurx® Pleural Catheter for the Management of Malignant Pleural Effusions
Many patients with cancer, especially those with lung and breast cancer, experience malignant pleural effusions. Several treatment options exist, and most require hospitalization. The Pleurx® Pleural Catheter (Denver Biomedical, Golden, CO) is a new treatment option that allows patients to be treated on an outpatient basis for weeks or months. With a catheter in place, pleural effusions can be drained intermittently at home by trained family members or caregivers. Nurses play a critical role in educating patients about the use of the Pleurx catheter, as well as teaching patients and family members how to drain the catheter. The purpose of this article is to familiarize nurses with the proper care of Pleurx catheters and provide a basis for patient education.