More support for digital air leak measurement

In the most recent edition of the European Journal of Cardio-thoracic surgery (EJCTS), Brunelli et al publish results of a prospective observational study relating to the use of digital measurement of air flow post-lobectomy surgery as a means of predicting the risk of subsequent prolonged air leak (PAL). All patients in the study were measured for air leak and intrapleural pressure at 6 hours post-operatively and both parameters were found to be predictors of PAL in the study setting. While this work looks at digital measurement per se as being a useful tool in post-operative management of these patients, it is also pertinent to point out that if significant air leaks are identified at 6 hours (52% of these cases) they are likely to become persistent. This suggests that strategies should be adopted which minimise post-operative air leaks. These strategies may include use of TissuePatchThoracic bioadhesive films as promoted by Tissuemed in cases where predictive factors for air leaks are high.