Care and Maintenance

Post Operative Care For Your Medical Drain
Mastectomy patients, cancer patients overall, plastic surgery patients, orthopedic surgery patients and abdominal surgery patients could go home from the hospital with multiple drains. The type of drain most commonly used is called a Jackson Pratt drain. This drain consists of a small plastic reservoir bulb connected to a flexible drainage tube. Its purpose is to remove fluid from the surgical wound through mild suction to help increase healing. The Jackson and Pratt drain stays in place for an average of 14 days possibly longer, and can be removed in your surgeons’ office. Carefully review  instructions on how to care for your Jackson and Pratt drain at home. You should ask your hospital nurse to review the steps of JP drain care before discharge from the hospital facility.

• When sleeping at night, it is important to secure the drain tube bulb in a secure place and in a way so as not to pull drains out accidentally while sleeping.
• The JP drain tubing is sutured into place. Pulling on it may cause discomfort. Your caregiver or nurse will show you how to secure the Jackson Pratt drain so it will not pullout or cause any discomfort.
• Check the skin around the insertion site of the JP drain and surgical incision looking for signs of infection daily. Slight redness around the Jackson and Pratt drain insertion site is not unusual. If you see large areas of redness or feel tenderness around the Jackson and Pratt drain insertion site may indicate a problem.
•Jackson Pratt drain care involves having a area that is clean so you can empty and measure the JP drain            

 !washing your hands before and after drain care is a must!

A Jackson and Pratt drain can be placed during surgery or as an outpatient procedure. Jackson Pratt drain care involves three important steps. One is measuring the JP drain output. Second is keeping the JP drain tubing from clogging. Third is maintaining an accurate record of the JP drain output.  Before or after the JP drain reservoir bulb is emptied and measure. Strip the JP drain tubing. This is done to prevent small clots from blocking the tubing. To strip the JP drain tubing, the motion is similar to curling ribbon for a package. Note: do not unplug the JP drain bulb from its suction position when stripping the Jackson Pratt drain tubing. To strip the JP tubing, use one hand to hold the JP drain tubing as close to the insertion point in the axilla as possible to secure the tubing. Using the other hand, squeeze the JP drain tubing using your thumb and forefinger. Applying firm pressure, squeeze the JP drain tubing from the axilla to the bulb. Measuring JP drain output. Hold JP drain reservoir bulb upright. Remove the drainage plug slow and easy to  release suction. Turn the reservoir bulb upside down and gently squeeze the fluid into a measuring cup which the hospital will provide upon discharge after surgery. Record the amount of drainage into medical drain database. To resume JP drain suction, squeeze the reservoir bulb to remove the air, and while squeezing the bulb, reinsert the drainage plug. Maintaining accurate JP drain output record. Measure JP drain output twice a day. In the morning and in the evening. Date and time auto updated, insert the amount of drainage, color of drainage and photos or short videos into medical drain database.

Useful Drain Care Information For Your Surgical Drain Management
• While drain is in place, do not drive until drain is removed or until doctor says you can drive.

• Do not disconnect the reservoir bulb from the tubing to remove clots or rinse the inside of the bulb with water because this could increase the chance of infection.

• If your doctor approves, you may shower with the drains in place. Attach them to a belt or cloth strap to limit the amount of pulling on the skin and to avoid the risk of pulling the drain out accidentally. 

• Dispose of the JP drainage, once it is measured and recorded into your Medical Drain History Database, either down the sink or toilet.

• Try to wear clothes that are easy to get off and on while the Jackson and Pratt drain is in place (preferably button down or zipper front shirts).

• Bras if worn should be supportive but not too tight. Some women prefer bras with front closure (such as sports bra with front closure).

• The JP drain usually is removed when the drainage fluid is 30cc or less for 24hrs. (Note: this parameter may vary depending on your surgeon, location of surgery and if so, it will be clarified at the preoperative teaching session with your nurse as to when the range of motion exercises may begin after surgery).

• Range of motion exercises for the arm and shoulder on the side of surgery usually starts three (3) days after surgery. Note: this parameter may vary pending your surgeon, and if so, it will be clarified at the preoperative teaching session with your nurse as to when the range of motion exercises may begin after surgery.

Notify your surgeon office if:
• You develop a fever of 100.5F or higher.
• There is increased redness or tenderness at your JP drain tubing insertion site or at the surgical incisions.
• There is a large amount of leakage around the JP drain tubing insertion site.
• There is a marked increase in JP drainage output within 24 hours from the previous measurement; or the JP drainage output abruptly decreases or stops.
• JP drain falls out.
• JP drain reservoir bulb does not maintain suction stays flat after reactivating. Please contact your surgeons office if you have any questions.

Medical Drain History Database

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