Hemovac drain

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What to Expect at Home
A Hemovac drain was placed under your skin during surgery. This drain removes any blood or other fluids that might build up in this area. You can go home with the drain still in place.

Your health care provider will tell you how often you need to empty the drain. Your nurse will show you how to empty and take care of your drain. The following instructions will help you at home. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or nurse.

Emptying Your Drain
Items you will need are: To empty your drain:
Changing Your Dressing
A dressing may be covering your drain. If not, keep the area around the drain clean with soapy water, either when you are in the shower or during a sponge bath. Ask your provider if you are allowed to shower with the drain in place.

Items you will need are: Clean your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand cleaner. Put on clean (not sterile) medical gloves. Loosen the tape carefully, and take off the old bandage. Throw the old bandage into a plastic trash bag. Look for any new redness, swelling, bad odor, or pus.

Use a cotton swab dipped in the soapy water to clean the skin around the drain. Do this 3 or 4 times, using a new swab each time.

Take off the first pair of medical gloves and put them in the plastic trash bag. Put on the second pair.

Put a new bandage around the site where the drain goes in. Use surgical tape to hold it down against your skin. Tape the tubing to the bandages. Throw all used supplies in the trash bag. Wash your hands well.

When to Call the Doctor
Call your doctor if:
Altman GB, ed. Skin integrity and wound care. Delmar’s Fundamental and Advanced Nursing Skills . 2nd Ed. New York, NY: Thomson; 1999:chap 9.

Update Date: 6/6/2012
Ann Rogers, MD, Associate Professor of Surgery; Director, Penn State Surgical Weight Loss Program, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
Patient Instructions
Copyright 1997-2014, A.D.A.M., Inc. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized in writing by ADAM Health Solutions.
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