Chest Seal

A penetrating chest wound may lead to several significant problems. One immediate issue is the open pneumothorax that leads to collapse of the lung.

In this condition, air can move freely in and out of the pleural space. When breathing in, air is easily pulled into the pleural space, rather than the lung. When breathing out, the air is expelled from the pleural space, and the lung collapses.

A one-way chest seal quickly fixes this problem, by keeping air from moving into the pleural space but allowing it to escape. After several breaths, the lung will be re-expanded and functional.

The Asherman Chest Seal is pre-packaged in a sterile bag with a 4 X 4 gauze sponge.

  • Use the 4 X 4 to clean and dry the area around the chest wound. 
  • Peel off the protective paper liner, exposing the adhesive.
  • Place the chest seal over the wound.
  • With each breath, more air will be forced out through the flutter valve, which also keeps outside air from returning to the pleural space.

If an Asherman Chest Seal is not available, a variety of field-expedient chest seals can be quickly made.

Shown here is a plastic wrapper from a small battle dressing, covering the wound and taped to the chest with adhesive tape. Note that a small portion of the wrapper is not taped, to allow air to escape. Moisture (blood, pleural fluid, etc.) underneath the plastic holds the plastic against the chest wall and keeps air from coming back into the pleural space during inhalation.

Any plastic-like material can work well for this purpose, including Ziplock bags, cellophane wrappers, and latex gloves.

Dressing Chest Wound Seal 10S

Weight: .03 pounds

NSN: 6510-01-408-1920

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