A drainage apparatus has a collection chamber connected to the pleural cavity of a patient with a vacuum pump connected through a water seal chamber to the collection chamber. A pressure regulating chamber maintains the negative pressure created by the vacuum pump in the water seal chamber at a desired negative pressure. When there is an increase in negative pressure within the pleural cavity of the patient, atmospheric pressure is transmitted through a liquid at a selected level in an excess negativity chamber to the collection chamber to reduce the negative pressure in the collection chamber and the pleural cavity of the patient connected thereto to a selected maximum above the negative pressure maintained in the collection chamber by the vacuum pump and regulated by the pressure regulating chamber.
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