Flushing Your Drain
Your doctor may ask you to flush your drainage tube. In some cases, this can help keep the tube from becoming clogged or help it drain more fluid. Sterile normal saline (salt water) is used to do this. Your doctor will tell you how much normal saline to use and how often to flush.
Flush with ____________ milliliters of saline ____________ times each day.
Sterile 10 mL normal saline syringe
1. Wash your hands with soap and warm water. Dry with a clean towel.
2. Unscrew the blue cap on the stopcock valve that connects to your drainage tube.
3. Take the cap off the syringe and screw the syringe on to the stopcock.
4. There is a lever on the stopcock. Turn the lever so that it points toward your drainage bag and away from your body.
5. Slowly push the plunger of the syringe to inject the saline into the tube going into your body. You may have a cool feeling while you are doing this. You should not have to force the saline in. If it does not go in easily, call the Interventional Radiology Department and you will be told what to do.
6. Turn the stopcock lever back so that it points back up to the syringe.
7. Unscrew the syringe and replace the cap on the stopcock.
Please call Interventional Radiology if you have:
- Leaking around the tube
- Pain with flushing
- Trouble flushing the tube or you feel resistance
- New redness, swelling or foul smelling drainage around the tube site
- Any questions or concerns
Interventional Radiology Department, Monday – Friday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm (608) 263-8355
After Hours, Nights and Weekends, please call (608) 262-0486. This will give you the paging operator. Ask for the Angio Resident on call. Give the operator your name and phone number with the area code. The doctor will call you back.
If you live out of the area, please call 1-800-323-8942.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 12/03/2012
Copyright © 12/03/2012 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#5721
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