Care of wound drainage: management of wound drains

management of wound drains

What is wound drainage?

Wound drainage is a type of fluid produced by body tissues that come out of a wound. These wounds are also usually formed by surgery. It is also called wound exudate in other words. If the wound drainage is not removed from time to time from the wound area, then there is a risk of infection and the wound does not heal. Proper care of wound drainage improves the patient's quality of life, promotes healing, and enhances health care. 

Wound Drainage vs Wound Drains


In this article, we will repeatedly talk about two different worlds. In which the first word is wound drainage and the second is wound drains. So it is very important to know the meaning of both the terms.

Wound Drainage - We already know the meaning of this word earlier.

Wound Drains - A drain (conduit), which is inserted into a wound or cavity during surgery, to allow free discharge of fluid, and prevent its accumulation while healing is taking place.

    Types of Wound Drainage

    1. Serous wound drainage - Clear or slightly yellow
    2. Sanguineous wound drainage - Fresh bloody exudate, looking bright red
    3. Seropurulent wound drainage - Cloudy yellow & red (mixture of sanguineous or serous)
    4. Purulent wound drainage - yellow-green & brown mixture
    Types of Wound Drainage - care of wound drainage

    Types of Surgical Drain

    1. Active & Passive

    Active - They are maintain under pressure. they have two types : open & close

    Open Active - In this, the exudate of the wound is collected in the gauze pad. They increase the risk of infection.
    eg.- Sump drain
    sump drain - surgical drain

    Close Active 
    It consists of a drainage tube into a bag/pouch. They reduce the risk of infection.
    eg.- Jackson-pratt drain
    Jackson-pratt drain

    2. Passive - They have no use of suction pressure. they have two types: open & close

    Open Passive - eg.- penrose drain, corrugated drain

    penrose drain

    Close passive - eg.- nesogastric tube, T-tube, foleys catheter  

    Required Equipment for Care of Wound Drainage

    • Wound drainage suction unit (as you need - Hemovac, Intermittent suction, electric suction machine, wall suction machine)
    • Graduated cylinder
    • Gloves
    • A disinfectant (alcohole wipe)
    • Handwash & sanitizer

    How to Care of Wound Drainage

    The procedure are as follow:

    1. Wash your hands properly with soap or handwash.

    2. Assemble all equipment.

    equipment of wound drainage care
    • Wound drainage suction unit (Hemovac, Intermittent suction, electric suction machine, wall suction machine)
    • Graduated cylinder

    3. Check the physician order list.

    4. Identifying the right patient and explain the complete procedure to the patient and gain his/her cooperation.

    5. Provide adequate lighting and the right position to the patient for performing the procedure.

    6. Wash your hand again.

    7. Activate the ordered tube drainage by physician order.

    a.  Hemovac suction unit   

    - remove the plug on the suction unit and place it on a firm surface.
    - compress the suction unit as flat as possible.
    - close the plug cap immediately to retain the vacuum.


    - position the suction unit to prevent kinking of the tube.
    - connect the patient's drainage tube with hemovac suction device, using aseptic technique.
    - observe the suction unit for proper functioning.


    b. Intermittent suction, electric suction machine, wall suction machine  

    - plug the wall suction unit with electrical suction or attact to the wall suction system (intermittent suction). 

    - connect the suction tube of wall suction or electric suction with patient's drainage tube, using aseptic technique.
    - tape the connection to ensure the connection is fixed or not leaking.

    - turn on the suction device & observe the whole system for proper functioning.


    8. Keep empty the drainage collection device, after completing the procedure.


    a. Hemovac


    - remove the plug cap, using aseptic technique.

    - replace the exudate (drainage) filled in hemovac in a graduated cylinder.

    - measure the amount of exudate in the graduated cylinder and discard.

    b. Intermittent suction, electric suction machine, wall suction machine

    - turn off the suction machine after completing the procedure.

    replace the exudate (drainage) filled in drainage bottle in a graduated cylinder.

    - measure the amount of exudate in the graduated cylinder and discard.

      9. Discard or sterile all the equipment after completing the whole procedure.

    10. Keep wash your hands properly with soap or handwash.

    11. Record the procedure in patient record book and report the significant observation to the          charge nurse of your ward.


    - amount, colour, odor of exudate.

    - function of suction system.

    - any observation near wound area.

    - patient reaction toward the procedure.

    Advantage of Wound Drainage Care

    • Care of wound drainage is recognized as a key element in facilitating the healing process.
    • Wound drainage care are designed to allow enough moisture to remain in tissues of wound area to promote regeneration and lessen inflammation.
    • It prevents tissue of the wound area from causing any infection. 

    Disadvantage of Wound Drainage Care

    • Innapropriate use of drainage tube leading infection and increased overall patient morbidity.
    • Inappropriate placement of drainage tube can also increase the risk for delayed or failed wound healing.
    • If an active drain is placed near an artery, the pressure on the artery increases the risk of necrosis.
    • Closed suction drains are prone to blockage, causing them to lose suction, leading to drain failure

    If you have any question releted Nebulization, comment below in comment section.
    Older Posts
    Newer Posts
    Dev chaudhary
    Dev chaudhary I'm Dev and I am 22 year old. I provide you amazing articles related to nursing and recreation.

    Post a Comment

    Ads Single Post 4

    Ad-Blocker Detected!

    Sorry, we have detcected that you have activated Adblocker.

    please consider supporting us by Turning off your adblock to be able to access this site.

    Thank you !