Drains are used to manage wounds and inscision sites. A drain is inserted into or near a wound if more than a minimal amount of drainage is expected.The penrose drain is the most commonly used drain. It is a length of tubing made of flexible, soft rubber and causes little tissue reaction. Proper care of the patient using a penrose drain depends on knowing how it works and the potential complications assciated with it.
Be aware of how the penrose drain functions. It works by drawing any drainage through the tubing, out of the incision or wound directly onto the dressing and skin around the incision or wound.
Maintain placement of the drain by securing a large safety pin on the tube outside the wound to prevent displacement of the drain.
Check the dressing to see if it is damp. Remove the damp dressing and clean the area around the drain and incision. Apply a new dressing change or gauze after this.
Pull the tube out and cut it shorter as the wound heals. Anchor the tube with a safety pin after cutting.
Assess the wound area by checking for signs of infection and drainage. Record the amount, color, consistency, and odor of any drainage. Make sure the drain is patent or free of any blockage.