A flutter valve is a one way valve arrangement usually placed on the end of a large bore or small bore chest tube. This is most commonly used to help remove air from between the patient's lungs and the inside chest wall, ie. a pneumothorax. The valve is usually designed as a rubber sleeve within a plastic case where the rubber sleeve is arranged so that when air passes through the valve one way the sleeve opens and lets the air through. However when air is sucked back the other way the sleeve closes off and no air is allowed backwards. This construction enables it to act as a one-way valve allowing air (or fluid) to flow only one way along the drainage tube. The end of the drainage tube is placed inside the patient's chest cavity, within the air or fluid to be drained. The flutter valve is placed in the appropriate orientation (most packages are designed so the valve can only be connected in the appropriate orientation) and the pneumothorax is thus evacuated from the patient's chest.
- Heimlich valve brochure from BD Bard Parker(tm)
- Heimlich Flutter Valve
- One way valve for chest drains from www.freepatentsonline.com
- Illustration of Heimlich flutter valve from Netter Medical Illustrations (the blue tubular valve)
- Heimlich Valve as part of a pneumothorax kit from Emergency Medical Products
- Use of Heimlich Valve from www.freepatentsonline.com