When not quickly treated, traumatic pneumothorax, hemothorax or a combination of the two (hemopneumothorax) can result in serious infections, cardiac arrest and respiratory failure.[1] Effectively draining air and blood from the chest is imperative to decompress the pleural space and restore lung function.

Traditional open thoracostomies and needle decompressions have been the standard of care to treat traumatic pneumothorax and hemothorax since the 1870s but have not changed to compensate for large chest tubes or minimally invasive techniques.

The Reactor from Sharp Medical offers a novel approach to chest tube insertion into the thoracic cavity. The device offers a minimally invasive alternative to open thoracostomy with ~1.0 – 1.5cm incision length and requires less procedure time that open insertion. In fact, a study conducted by the University of Connecticut found that chest tube insertion with the Reactor showed lower ratings of difficulty (2.0 v 3.0, p = 0.006), faster insertion times (10sec v 17sec, p=0.001) and shorter skin incisions (28mm v 31mm, p = 0.019).[2]

The Reactor has also proven to be consistently more successful than needle decompressions with a success rate of 88% versus 48% respectively.[3] Needle decompressions also took longer to reach a pressure of less than 5mmHg than the Reactor, and final pressure was significantly less after using the Reactor versus needle decompressions.3


After an initial incision of approximately 1.0 – 1.5cm, the Reactor provides controlled entry into the thoracic cavity as the blade carves, not punctures, a tunnel through the chest wall. The oval shaft goes along the rib anatomy with a constant diameter, cutting and spreading tissue to allow for chest tube insertion.

With an intuitive design and ease of use, the Reactor has shown to be an effective and less traumatic alternative to open thoracostomies.

To learn more about the Reactor from Sharp Medical, please call 888-891-1200 or email us to be connected to your local sales representative.

MED Alliance Group is an ISO 13485 certified medical device distributor with more than 350 years of combined medical device sales and distribution experience. Dedicated to meeting the needs of its clinical customers and manufacturing partners, MED Alliance offers cost effective, customized sales, logistics, and distribution solutions for products found in anesthesia/respiratory, blood/transfusion therapy, EMS/emergency room, interventional radiology/cath lab, iv/vascular and NICU/PICU.

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[1] https://www.healthline.com/health/hemopneumothorax#complications

[2] https://www.sharpmedicalproducts.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Abstract-University-of-Connenicut-SAEM-051817.pdf

[3] https://www.sharpmedicalproducts.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Evaluation-of-a-novel-thoracic-entry-device-versus-needle-decompression-in-a-tension-pneumothorax-swine-model-Abstract-010418.pdf