Management of patients with empyema
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Management of patients with empyema

Rebecca Myatt Nurse case manager, Thoracic surgery, Guy’s Hospital, London

Empyema is the term used to describe an accumulation of pus in a body cavity such as the pleural space as a result of bacterial infection. The condition is serious because it is difficult for the immune system to resolve infection in this area. Empyema can be avoided by the use of appropriate antibiotic therapy and good aseptic technique when dealing with any situation that breaches the chest wall. Treatment of this condition may be medical but if the condition does not resolve, surgical intervention is required. The nursing role involves providing support, education and long-term management for patients with empyema.

Nursing Standard. 28, 30, 42-47. doi: 10.7748/ns2014.


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Received: 15 October 2013

Accepted: 08 January 2014