4-12. FACTS ABOUT WOUND DRAINS
The technique of using drains, tubes, and catheters at the wound site may
be necessary to promote healing by permitting fluid to be removed from the surgical
site. This technique is often used to drain abscesses and intestinal contents when
leakage may occur.
The Penrose drain is the most common type of drainage system used. It is
made of soft rubber and causes little tissue reaction. It is sutured to the skin and a
safety pin is placed externally to maintain its position. The Penrose drain acts by
drawing any pus or fluid along its surfaces through a stab wound adjacent to the main
incision. See Figure 4-2 for a Penrose drain.
Figure 4-2. Penrose drain.