NEEDLE CHEST DECOMPRESSION
A needle chest decompression is performed ONLY if the casualty has a
penetrating wound to the chest and increasing trouble breathing.
a. Gather Materials. You will need the large bore needle and catheter unit from
your aid bag. You will also need a strip of tape from the spool in your aid bag.
b. Locate the Insertion Site. The insertion site is located in the second
intercostal space (the area between the second and third ribs, counting from the top) at
the mid-clavicular line (an imaginary line perpendicular to the ribs approximately in line
with the casualty's nipple) on the same side of the chest as the penetrating wound.
Figure 4-5 shows the location of the second intercostal space. Figure 4-6 shows the
Figure 4-5. Locating the second intercostal space (wound on casualty's left side).
Figure 4-6. Locating the mid-clavicular line (wound on casualty's left side).