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Is Wound Drainage Necessary?

Yes, Eliminates the rate of haematoma, decreases the wound infection rate, promotes faster wound healing and reduces scar tissue formation.

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What is the advantage of constant suction?

It promotes faster wound healing by continuously pulling the wound flaps together.

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What is the problem of intermittent suction?

It causes a disturbance in the wound healing process, which in turn could delay healing.

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Does constant suction drain more than intermittent suction?

Initially yes. With constant suction the tissue layers will be pulled together and remain closed. This way a lot of fluid is drained initially. However, this will decrease enormously during the remainder of the drainage period. This promotes faster wound healing. With intermittent suction, the wound flaps are not continuously being pulled together with results in ‘breathing’ of the wound. Hence wound healing will take longer, and therefore the total amount of drained fluid will be more.

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Why do we recommend a closed wound drainage system?

For the Patient: To decrease the possibility of infection.
For the Nursing Staff: To reduce the possibility of cross-contamination.

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What is the purpose of having a 600ml, 400ml and 200ml bottles?

OR/theatre: The choice is related to the expected amount of exudate to be drained. Ward: The choice is related to the mobility of the patient.

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Can we replace a 600ml Palin bottle with a 200ml Palin bottle?

After the initial period of drainage where low negative pressure was required, the wound will have

sufficiently “healed” (coagulation will have occurred). Hence the application of any of the Palin

sized bottles is possible as a replacement bottle.

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What is the advantage having a detailed calibration on the container?

Accurate measurement of exudates. No need to siphon off exudates into a measurement glass.

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What is the meaning of the vacuum indicator?

Indicates the presence of negative pressure inside the container.

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Why do we need a clear container?

For the easy examination of drained fluid for quality and quantity.

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When do we remove the drain from the patient?

When, in the last twelve hours of drainage, amounts of drained fluid in less than 25ml.

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How do we dispose of the container?

By closing the container, without adding a gelling-substance.

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Why can we use small drains with our wound drainage systems?

The constant suction at a level of -115mmHg, will prevent the small wound drains from becoming clogged.

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What are the advantages of using small drains?
  • Less dead space in the wound area after removing drains.
  • Easier to remove the drain from a patient.
  • Less painful for a patient when removing the drains.
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What is the purpose of having black markers on the wound drains?

To ensure that the holes of the wound tube are situated far enough into the wound area, to prevent leakage. It is recommended that the wound drain should not be pulled out of the wound further than the black marker.

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Is it possible to bend the needle?

Yes, it is possible to bend the needle up to 90°.

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What is the function of the one-way valve?

Prevents back-flow of exudates from the connecting tube into the wound and prevents cross contamination for nursing staff.

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How can we prevent the container from getting filled with air, coming out of the patient’s wound, during the initial period of drainage?

This is frequently found during mastectomy surgical procedures. Therefore, the following is recommended:

  1. Taping off the wound to prevent leakage.
  2. Connecting the wall suction to the connection tube until the exudates is clearly noticeable, and then replace the wall suction with the container.
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Is it possible to reactivate the container?

This is NOT recommended. Sterility can no longer be guaranteed, and the exact amount of negative pressure is no longer known.

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How do we reactivate the container in the ward?

There is no need to reactivate the container as it provides constant suction.

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Do we have to replace the container for every shift, or every twelve hours?

No – the drain should only be replaced when the vacuum indicator is in its completely up status.

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How do we empty the container?

There is no need to empty the container because it is a completely closed system.

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Can a patient be sent home with the wound drainage systems?

Yes, the container is self-contained closed system which ensures NO handling for the patient.