Pleural Space Infections


- Chest x-ray +/- ultrasound or CT

- Thoracentesis

  • Pleural fluid for Gram stain/culture, AFB stain/culture, WBC

- Sputum for C&S/AFB



- Pleural fluid drainage with chest tube recommended if:

  • respiratory distress
  • large parapneumonic effusions
  • purulent effusions.

- If incomplete drainage, consider early administration of fibrinolytic agents and surgical consult.

- If pleural peel, surgical consult for decortication/VATS.