Jackson-Pratt Drain Care

Please watch this brief video on how to correctly strip, empty, and care for your Jackson-Pratt Drain.

Instructions for Stripping and Emptying The Drains

Please be sure to fill out the drain record sheet after surgery. This will determine when your drains are ready to be removed.

STRIP the drains every 2 hours

  • It is important to strip or “milk” the drainage tube in the direction going from the skin exit site toward the bulb. This is done by pinching the drainage tube with both hands and fingers close together, then pulling one hand down the pinched tube toward the bulb, then releasing. Dr. Romano calls this “pinch, strip, release” and you need to do this every two hours with about 3-4 repetitions.

EMPTY the drains TWICE  a day approximately 12 hours apart or when they are half full

  • Remove the stopper from the bulb’s spout or drainage port. This will release the vacuum and the bulb will expand. Take note of the amount of drainage in the bulb by reading the numbers on the bulb. Do this twice a day and record the amount on the chart. If the drain fills up a lot, empty it more than two times a day. Then, discard any fluid. Flatten/squeeze the bulb to create a vacuum and plug the stopper back into the drainage hole. The drain should appear somewhat flat. If the drain is not flat, the suction is not working.

This is what a Jackson-Pratt drain should look like if it is working properly. This is prior to the stopper being opened and the drain being emptied.

 

Drain Record Sheet

Remember to bring this output record with you to your post-operative appointments. The amount of drainage recorded below will determine when the drain will be removed.

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