Effective drain care and management in community settings
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Effective drain care and management in community settings

Sarah Louise Gibson Author, Research Delivery and Innovation Department, Haywood Hospital, Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England
Alison Kate Lillie Lecturer in adult nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Keele University, Staffordshire, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To recognise the importance of effective drain management to optimise patient care and safety

  • To understand how you can ensure drain safety

  • To maintain your knowledge of drain-related complications

The literature indicates that drain monitoring is a frequently undervalued aspect of patient care, and that the drain care provided is often inconsistent and inadequate. There are numerous potential implications of suboptimal drain care for patients, nurses, teams and healthcare organisations. Since acute care is increasingly being delivered in the community, there is a greater need for nurses to have an understanding of effective drain care. This article describes the rationale for drain insertion and its associated complications. It uses a case study to illustrate how suboptimal drain monitoring and documentation can negatively affect patient care and safety. This article also discusses several important issues raised in the case study, such as suboptimal documentation, and how these may have consequences for nurses, teams and healthcare organisations. Recognition of these elements supports initiatives that nurses could apply to practice to reduce the occurrence of similar incidents.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2019.e11389

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software




Conflict of interest

None declared

Gibson SL, Lillie AK (2019) Effective drain care and management in community settings. Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2019.e11389

Published online: 28 November 2019

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