LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Larry Mellick, MD, made a nice video on peritoneal taps. (“Peritoneal Taps for Removing Ascites Fluids,” EMN 2016; http://emn.online/Mar16M2EToo.) I have two questions, though.
Why did he choose to hand pump? Was it just for demonstration purposes? It seems much more time-intensive, and I've always used the vacuum containers. Is there something I'm missing, like a safety issue?
Is the Z-track insertion technique out of style? I thought it was still worth doing. Maybe I am out of date on that.
Jeff Steele, MD
Richard Gordon, MD, the instructor in the video, responds: There is no safety issue that I'm aware of. We simply did not have the vacuum containers. We do use them when available. Great question about the Z-track. I don't think it is necessarily out of style because I know people who still deploy that technique. I was not trained to use that, however, and have not adopted it. I have not had a problem with post-tap leaking, but if I did, I would use Dermabond to cap it and perhaps reconsider my technique. I would not consider anyone who uses the Z-track technique out of date or wrong. I just think it's a matter of personal preference.