Refers to puncture of the chest wall to evacuate pathological content of the pleural cavity (gas, fluid). It is a life-saving procedure in the case of sudden cardiac arrest caused by development of obstructive shock due to tension pneumothorax/hemothorax.

The puncture is a one-time evacuation (therapeutic or diagnostic). Drainage then requires the introduction of a drain with connection to a collecting system (either gravity or active suction).

The puncture site is detected by physical examination (percussion, auscultation) and using landmarks (anatomical structures) or by imaging methods – e.g. CT navigation and increasingly popular ultrasound navigation. The use of US in these conditions significantly increases puncture/drainage success and reduces possible complications.