Question 14

Describe the relevant anatomy for insertion of an intercostal catheter. (60% of marks) How does breathing 100% oxygen help in the resolution of a pneumothorax? (40% of marks)

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College Answer

Many candidates described the technique for insertion of an intercostal catheter which was 
not requested. Few identified the nerve supply to the area. Most identified the “safe”
triangle but failed to correctly identify its borders or draw a diagram to show anatomic 
landmarks. Describing the anatomy from skin to lungs, including the neurovascular bundle,
was needed to pass this part of the question.

Although most knew that 100% oxygen reduce the nitrogen content in a pneumothorax and 
this accelerates its adsorption, but did not go on to provide any quantification of partial 
pressure changes in blood and in the pneumothorax bubble