Heimlich Valve

BD Bard-Parker Heimlich Chest Drain Valve
Catalog # 373460

The Heimlich Chest Drain Valve is a specially-designed flutter valve used to replace underwater bottles in chest drainage. Comprised of tubing assembly and sealed transparent housing, the valve establishes a unidirectional flow path for air. This assembly is equipped with tubing connection ends.

  • The Heimlich valve features a blue end to be connected to the patient catheter, and a transparent end to be connected to a vented drainage bag.
  • If necessary, the distal, transparent end can be connected to regulated, intermittent sporadic suction that can be used to remove secretions.
  • The Heimlich Chest Drain Valve is uncomplicated, and easy to use.
  • The Heimlich Chest Drain Valve is sterile and a single use device.


Insert intrapleural drainage catheter and position in the usual manner (A)

Heimlich Valve Instructions for Use

  1. Cut off the beveled end of the catheter adapter and as much of the funnel portion of the adapter as necessary so the catheter makes a firm, airtight connection with the blue end of the valve.

  2. Firmly attach the catheter’s open end to the blue end of the valve. Important: the catheter should be firmly taped to the valve to prevent accidental dislodging. Correct valve operation is achieved with the blue tip closest to the patient and the arrow on the valve pointing away from the patient’s chest.

  3. Attach connection tubing (C) to clear plastic end of Heimlich valve.

  4. Insert proximal end of connection tubing (D) into plastic drainage bag or attach to trap bottle and regulated suction.

  5. If two chest drainage catheters are used, attach a separate valve and tubing to each.

  6. When transporting the patient, it is not necessary to clamp the chest catheter.


  1. When suction is required, connect open end of connecting tube (D) to the suction system.

  2. When suction is not necessary or is discontinued, insert connecting tube (C) into plastic bag or suitable drainage container. The drainage container must be vented to allow air to escape during drainage.

  3. Pulsation of valve leaflets indicates increasing and decreasing intrapleural pressure. The passage of air or fluids through the valve is readily observed.

  4. Standard methods should be used to maintain the system free of clots. Should a clot obstruct the valve, clamp the chest drainage tube and, using sterile technique, remove the valve and replace with new sterile valve.

  5. Caution: the catheter should be firmly taped to prevent accidental dislodging.

  6. Drainage bag may be suspended at bedside. For early ambulation, for removal of patient to X-Ray department, etc., drainage bag may be carried or attached to wheelchair or to patient’s clothing. It is not necessary to clamp tubing during these activities.

  7. If two chest catheters and two valves are used, the function of each can be observed independently.


Follow your institution’s procedures for discarding used medical devices.

Caution: Fluid secretions can clog valve element. Therefore, caution should be used after procedures such as pneumonectomy where significant volume of post-operative secretion drainage is expected.