A closed suction drain is used to remove fluids that build up in areas of your body after surgery or when you have an infection. Although there is more than one brand of closed suction drains, most people refer to this drain as a Jackson Pratt, or JP, drain.
The JP drain is made up of 2 parts:
One end of the rubber tube is placed in the area of your body where fluid may build up. The other end comes out through a small incision (cut). A squeeze bulb is attached to this outer end.
Ask your provider when you may take a shower while you have this drain. You may be asked to take a sponge bath until the drain is removed.
Items you will need are:
Empty the drain before it gets full. You may need to empty your drain every few hours at first, but as the amount of drainage decreases, you may be able to empty it once or twice a day:
Write down the amount of fluid you drained out and the date and time each time you empty your JP drain. Flush the fluid down the toilet and wash your hands.
You might have a dressing around the drain where it comes out of your body. If you do not have a dressing, just keep the skin around the drain clean and dry. If you are allowed to shower, just clean the area with soapy water and pat it dry with a towel. If you are not allowed to shower, just clean the area with a washcloth, cotton swabs, or gauze.
If you do have a dressing around the drain, you will need the following items:
Wash your hands with soap and water. Dry your hands and put on clean gloves. Loosen the tape carefully and take off the old bandage. Throw the old bandage into the plastic trash bag. Look for any new redness, swelling, bad odor, or pus.
Use a cotton swab dipped in the soapy water to clean the skin around the drain. Do this 3 or 4 times, using a new swab each time. Take off the first pair of medical gloves and put them in the plastic trash bag. Put on the second pair of gloves.
Put a new bandage around the drain tube site. Use surgical tape to hold it down against your skin. Tape the tubing to the bandages. Attach the bulb to your clothing with a safety pin. It should not hang loosely. Throw all used supplies in the trash bag. Wash your hands.
If there is no fluid draining into the bulb, there may be a clot or other material. If you notice this:
Call your doctor if:
Jackson Pratt drain; JP drain
Updated by: Ann Rogers, MD, Associate Professor of Surgery; Director, Penn State Surgical Weight Loss Program, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
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