The Smart Way to Perform Body Cavity Centesis

By Jenny Cassibry Fisher, AS, RVT, VTS-oncology. Director of Education, PractiVet


Body cavity centesis is a diagnostic and therapeutic modality widely used in veterinary medicine to eliminate fluids or air within body cavities. Veterinarians and veterinary technicians commonly perform the skill in a variety of patient presentations and conditions.  Although some of the techniques and equipment may vary, the fundamental concept remains the same. As with all the PractiVet products, we strive to bring the highest quality products while increasing efficiency, decreasing costs and providing the best care possible for veterinary patients. PractiVet is proud to offer the Smart-Y centesis device. The Smart-Y utilizes two one-way valves and closed system to replace outdated and difficult to use, 3 way stop-cocks.

The Smart-Y was created after a thoracocentesis gone wrong, at a veterinary teaching hospital.  Air was unintentionally re-introduced into the chest, following mis-use of a stop-cock, resulting in a tension pneumothorax. The attending veterinary emergency specialist requested a “fool-proof” method and device. The thought process behind the Smart-Y was to limit the possibility of human error AND to increase efficiency. The use of two one-way valves and the closed pathway of Microclave® helps to not only limit the personnel needed to perform the centesis AND takes human error out of the equation. Each package comes with a set of instructions and there are also color bands to indicate function. The green indicated end is the pump or “go” side. The red indicated band is the waste side, just like sharps and biohazard containers. The non-banded end is the patient side, to attach to the tapping apparatus. Syringes and fluid collection bags can both be used to collect waste on the red banded side. Smart-Y eliminates 3-way stop-cocks and their inherent problems and risks. Simply connect the Smart-Y to the patient, attach a syringe to extract fluid/air, and connect a drain bag or syringe to capture extracted material.

The Smart-Y provides a closed system to allow for accurate measurement and rapid draining of fluid or air in the chest or abdomen. The closed system provides reliable sterility and fool-proof security, while the one-way valves allow for rapid draining and ease of use.

The Smart-Y eliminates erroneous settings which could cause iatrogenic pneumothorax. The dual, one-way check valves are a fail-safe way to ensure the right direction for fluid and air travel. Designed with safety in mind, the Smart-Y has two one-way valves and two MicroClaves® to ensure a closed system is maintained should the syringe or lines become disconnected.

One of the problems, using a stop-cock and extension sets, is the need for an extra person just to operate the stop-cock. Often, finding a FREE pair of hands inside the clinic is difficult, much less two or three sets of hands. The Smart-Y is unique, being able to better serve the patient, the veterinary healthcare worker and reduce overall time and cost, while preventing human error. Many times, in ER medicine, overnight shifts may not be staffed with multiple support staff – being able to eliminate the need for a staff member for a technical procedure, saves time and can provide quicker care to the patient.

The introduction of the Smart Y has revolutionized body cavity centesis in veterinary medicine. The ease of use, human error prevention and low cost have made the Smart-Y, the smart way to perform body cavity centesis.

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Are you interested in learning more about the Smart Y? Contact your PractiVet product specialist or our Director of Education, Jenny Fisher