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Consensus Guideline

Pleural Drains in Adults

Role of the pleural drain remover

  • Thoroughly cleanse the drain insertion site and the first 10cm of the drain with skin cleansing solution 2% chlorhexidine and 70% alcohol or equivalent.
  • Dry the area with gauze (to ensure occlusive dressing adheres to skin) identify anchor suture, cut and remove the suture whilst supporting pleural drain.
  • Hold drain in dominant hand whilst gently pinching the skin at the insertion site with non dominant hand.
  • Remove the drain swiftly but gently while simultaneously pinching the skin around the insertion site.
  • There should be no excessive force required to remove the drain. If any resistance is met, STOP the procedure and review the device/procedure for additional sutures or locking device. If resistance continues STOP the procedure and call for senior medical assistance.
  • Check that the tip of the drain is intact.
  • Cut excessive suture material, dry skin and apply occlusive dressing, then label with date and time of removal.
  • Perform hand hygiene.
  • Document removal in the patient's medical record.