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, this drain is often called 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. 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.
You might have a dressing around the drain where it comes out of your body. If you do not have a dressing, keep the skin around the drain clean and dry. If you are allowed to shower, clean the area with soapy water and pat it dry with a towel. If you are not allowed to shower, 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:
To change your dressing:
If there is no fluid draining into the bulb, there may be a clot or other material blocking the fluid. If you notice this:
Call your doctor if:
Jackson Pratt drain; JP drain
Lynn PB. Caring for a Jackson-Pratt drain. In: Lynn PB. Taylor's Handbook of Nursing Skills. Phildelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, Wolters Kluwers. 2011.
Updated by: Debra G. Wechter, MD, FACS, General Surgery practice specializing in breast cancer, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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