A Comparison of Conventional Percussion and Auscultation Percussion in Detecting Pleural Effusions of Hospitalized Patients
McDermott, Traci D.
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The purpose of this study was to compare the efficacy of pulmonary Auscultation Percussion to Conventional Percussion in the detection of the extent of pleural effusions. The accuracy of pulmonary Auscultation Percussion is controversial, therefore this investigation attempted to determine the validity in detecting the extent of pleural effusions. A Family Nurse Practitioner student and a Pulmonologist evaluated 14 patients with pleural effusions. A radiologist identified potential study subjects with a pleural effusion on routine chest x-rays. The patients were examined using Auscultation Percussion and Conventional Percussion to determine the exact level of the pleural effusion. The patient's back was zoned in tenths to give the level of effusion a numerical value. An ultrasound of the patient's posterior thorax during resting respiration was done to determine the exact level of the pleural effusion. Pleural effusions of 14 patients were included in this study. The correlation between AusP and the ultrasound were statistically significant (R=.698, P=.006 on the left chest and R=.694, P=<O.OOl on the right side of the chest). ConP was statistically significant compared with the ultrasound on the left side of the chest (R=.680, P=.008). However, on the right side of the chest it was not statistically significant (R=.287, P=.319). This study suggests that AusP is a more accurate tool in the detection of the extent of pleural effusion in comparison to ConP. Various speculations for the left and right discrepancy with ConP are discussed.