RN's removing surgical drains

Specialties Med-Surg


I am desperatly searching information/policies & procedures on RN's removing JP , penrose and/or hemovac drains . We have been asked to do this and I would love to talk to anyone that works in a facility where RN's do remove surgical drains. Thank you so much.

Though RNs know HOW to remove them, a particular hospital or floor may not support it in practice. My hospital will not allow RNs to remove drains, though we do remove staples. Reason we can't remove drains: some of the tubing from JPs has broken off & lodged into the patient, requiring surgical removal. It's a liability thing. Now the surgeons/residents have to do it where I work.

Conniejean, we remove drains here in our hospital in Australia. However, we also have to show the tip (mostly bellovacs) to another RN and she must co-sign in the patients chart that the tip was sighted. I find this to be over the top. I was wanting to do alittle research into whether other nurses have to show the tip to another RN as I would like to put an end to it. Have you any nursing journal articles on the subject that you can share.


This only PROTECTS the RN license! It's legal documentation. It's not meant to belittle you.

We remove PICCs central lines, hemovacs, JP's, epidurals, T-tube the whole deal have even pulled a chest tube with the surgeon at my side to suture, is there really anywhere you cant legally do this?

You pull epidurals???

This only PROTECTS the RN license! It's legal documentation. It's not meant to belittle you.

How does this protect the RN license? If the tip is left in the patient, whether two of you signed you both saw the tip, you will not be protected. You will only look incompetent that even after two had said they had seen it evidence of it in the patient will definitely outway your documentation. So what I am saying is that why does it take two RN's to say they saw the tip.? Surely if I am too blind or stupid to recognise a dodgy tip on my own then there are many more dangerous practices that I should not be doing.

I also am in need of a written policy on pulling JP drains. Where can I find one?

I disagree w/a couple of postings that say "there's really no protocol" to removing drains/lines. Some of them can bleed a LOT after removal, even profusely, so pressure on the site for a number of minutes, after removal is

required...esp picc lines etc . Even JP's & HV drains can drain quite a lot after removal...they need monitoring . It is not exactly something to take too lightly . you are smart to ask ! that makes you a good nurse :)

It has been my experience that a lot of facilities have their OWN policies.

I used to be on a team that came up with policies, procedures & protocols for any dept that requested one . We did a fair amount of internet research .

In some of my past jobs, we have adapted policies from other facilites, w/their consent of course .

My nurses have always removed my JP drain after my surgeries, and it is in my head.

I am in Arkansas and on the Orthopaedic unit we see many hemovac drains. We are thinking about letting our LPN's pull hemovac drains. Do you have any guidelines you would like to share? Thanks!

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