Saturday, February 13, 2016

Important Details On Surgical Drain Management

By Nancy Hamilton

It is a common practice to insert drain at the site of operation if there is a risk of bleeding after the operation. The items are meant to allow air and other kinds of discharges to find their way out of the body. If they are left to accumulate, post-operation complications will come up. Therefore, proper surgical drain management is essential.

The caregiver can analyze the fluid characteristics to make the proper diagnosis. In addition, a lot of information can be gotten from evaluating the color of the fluid. Maintenance of the conduits is essential to avoid serious problems.

The management is usually governed by the location, purpose and type of the conduit. However, the instructions and preferences of the surgeon ought to be followed. It is good for the care provider to ask for written protocols from the surgeon to ensure that everything is followed to the latter.

The conduits are either closed or open. Corrugated rubber and also plastic are the major products used in production of the drains. They empty into stoma bags or gauze pads. The situation increases the chances of infection. It is upon the care provider to plan the care process to minimize this. Closed conduits are seen mainly in patients who have undergone chest, orthopedic or abdominal operations. The risk of suffering from infections is low when these drains are placed.

Suction is essential in active drains. However, the passive ones do not necessary require this. The pressure difference between the atmosphere and body cavities is enough to keep them going. When the drains are made from rubber, they are likely to elicit allergic reactions. They should only be used when there is no any other alternative. Because the conduits can slip out, they need to be properly secured. Such a situation can easily lead to death.

In order to follow through the prognosis, the amount of drainage should be read and recorded daily. The care provider should ensure that significant changes or odd observations are reported to the surgeon. It can save the life of the patient because remedies will be executed in good time. Blood, pancreatic and bile secretions can drain through the conduit.

When the amount of discharge is monitored, the professional will be able to tell the amount of intravenous fluids to administer to compensate for the lost fluid. Patients can go into shock when the level of fluids in the body is too low. Proper management can give the care provider information about the right time to remove the drains. To note is that conduits which remain in-situ long after their objective is achieved cause unnecessary trauma to the patient and increase suffering.

The absence of active drainage is a sure sign that the conduit should be withdrawn. However, the process should be done systematically. The whole tube should not be pulled out at once. It has to be removed gradually to allow for healing. When this is not done, the wound might take a long time to heal. Thus, the patient will come back within a short while with complaints of pain due to a reawakened wound.

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