- Inserting the Drain 00:26
- Securing the Drain 01:10
A surgical drain is a tube that facilitates the removal of blood, pus or other fluids, preventing them from accumulating within a wound.
Surgical drains are indicated for use in a variety of settings. Some examples are given below.
- Drainage of pneumothorax.
- Drainage of haemothorax.
Abdomen and Other Cavities:
- Drainage of a potential space, e.g. post-abscess drainage.
- Monitoring of outputs, e.g. bile from abdomen.
- Detection of bleeds or leaks, e.g. anastamotic leaks (remember to be aware of potentially blocked drains).
Inserting the Drain
- A surgical drain will have one end sharp and an one end with perforations to allow for drainage.
- Insert the drain as deep as possible without catching any nerves or vessels.
- Counter-traction on the skin often helps when puncturing the skin, but do not ever use your hands as you my accidentally injure yourself.
- Cut the sharp end, ensure no perforations are outside the skin and cut to length for adequate drainage of the intended cavity.
Securing the Drain
- To secure the drain, use a non-absorbable suture (commonly silk).
- Suture around the exit site of the skin, but do not push the first knot onto the skin, instead leave it hanging in the air.
- Secure the drain by tying knots in front and behind the drain several times.