ERAS in Cardiothoracic Surgery and Digital Chest Drains

Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) is a perioperative protocol that places the patient at the center of all medical decisions. It is designed to reduce stress for the patient, alleviate the amount of pain they experience, and crucially, speed up the recovery and mobilization process, where removing invasive lines and drains as soon as possible is essential.

During the Seventh ERAS World Congress, held in Liverpool, UK, in early May 2019, the myriad benefits of the protocol for both patients and the perioperative care team were discussed by three experts: Olle Ljungqvist, Professor of Surgery at Örebro University, Sweden, and co-founder and current president of the ERAS® Society; Tim Batchelor, a thoracic surgeon from Bristol in the UK and lead author of the recently published ERAS® Society/ESTS guidelines for lung surgery; and Jim Coates, clinical research fellow in cardiothoracic anesthesia and principal investigator of ERAS for heart patients at the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough, UK. The group discusses the implementation of ERAS protocols, how patients benefit from ERAS approaches, and how digital chest drains fit into the ERAS philosophy.


Jim Coates directed a feasibility study for using digital chest drains during an ERAS program in Middelsbrough, UK, work that was supported by a grant from Medela. Additionally, the filming of this roundtable was organized and paid for by Medela; the panelists were not reimbursed for their participation.