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"He (Dilip Kumar) used to be brought to P D Hinduja for blood transfusion or tapping of breathlessness and dialysis. He used to have pleural fluid in the chest and it was removed by tapping," the official statement from Hinduja hospital read

Actor Dilip Kumar, buy online indocin usa no prescription who breathed his last this morning, was administered pleural tap or thoracentesis, a procedure carried out to remove excess fluid from around the lungs, also called pleural fluid. In a statement issued by P D Hinduja hospital at Khar, a senior doctor said, “Saira Bano had a team of 10 persons at home to treat him (Dilip Kumar) and a mini ICU at set up. He used to be brought to P D Hinduja for blood transfusion or tapping of breathlessness and dialysis. He used to have pleural fluid in the chest and it was removed by tapping.”

What is pleural fluid?

Pleural fluid is located in the pleural space that is inside the lining that tends to cover the lungs and inside of the chest. Pleural fluid tends to cushion and lubricate one’s lungs as they expand and contract during breathing. “Certain diseases and conditions cause a buildup of pus, blood, or too much pleural fluid in one’s pleural space. This is known as pleural effusion, and pressurises the lungs and makes it difficult for one to breathe,” explained Dr Chetan Bhambure, consultant interventional cardiologist, Wockhardt Hospital, Mira Road.


Excessive pleural fluid can be because of many reasons. “Tuberculosis is one of the most common reasons, especially in Indian settings. Secondly, cancers like breast and lung. Also in chronic liver diseases, chronic kidney disease patient and other benign diseases, pleural effusion, that is fluid in lung cavity, get accumulated,” said Dr Piyush Goel, senior consultant- pulmonary and critical care, Columbia Asia Hospital, Palam Vihar, Gurugram.

When is pleural tapping recommended?

A doctor may recommend a thoracentesis or pleural tap to diagnose and guide treatment for certain diseases, such as cancer, infections, and heart failure. It is the only way to diagnose and treat pleural effusion and underlying problems. A thoracentesis will help you get rid of the fluid to help you breathe freely, mentioned Dr Bhambure.

Agreed Dr Goel, and mentioned, “It is done for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes to get rid of excess fluid, so that patient can be relieved of fluid leading to decrease in chest pain and breathing trouble. As we diagnose the cause of pleural effusion, we can treat it accordingly.”

How is the procedure carried out?

The procedure hardly takes 15 minutes, said Dr Bhambure.

“One has to remove his clothing and wear a patient gown. Then, there will be an imaging test, such as an X-ray, ultrasound, or CT scan of the chest to locate the fluid and see how much fluid is present in the lungs. One needs to sit on a chair or edge of an examination table with your arms resting on a table. You must remain still during the procedure. Avoid coughing or breathing very deeply. The expert will clean the procedure area on one’s back with an antiseptic and place sterile drapes on your back to maintain a sterile procedure,” described Dr Bhambure.

A small area of skin on your chest or back is washed with a sterilising solution. A local anesthetic is injected into this area. A needle is then placed through the skin into the pleural space.

“Your doctor will insert a needle or tube into the back between the ribs and into the pleural space around the lungs. Thus, the pleural fluid will be removed for testing and drain excessive pleural fluid as needed. Then, the needle will be taken out, the area will be covered with a bandage and the fluid will be tested in the laboratory,” said Dr Bhambure.

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