I just completed a chest tube scenario this week in which there is an air leak. If you have suction set up that will give you the bubbling in the suction control chamber.
But if you want to have bubbling in the water seal (i.e. air leak) I attached a 100 ml secondary bag to the end of the chest tube filled w/ air and 50 ml of fluid (color what ever you want your drainage to be). The bag was concealed in the abd dressing and just prior to the students entrering the simulation I disconnect the clamp and you have bubbling in the water seal chamber plus drainage. Another trick I tried was using compressed air instead of suctioning.
Best of luck to you.
Ginny Paul, RN, MSN, CCRN, PCCN
St. Mary Corwin Medical Center
I used a dry suction chest drainage unit connected to a portable suction machine. Then I inserted the chest tube into the chest cavity and attached a clamp to almost occluding the tubing inside. And depending upon the amount of bubbling to be observed, just tighten or release the clamp.