Surgical Tubes & Drains

Tubes and Drains. Most of the time you don't go over these in PA school. People just keep referring to "JP drains" and "NG tubes" - but if you've never worked in a hospital - you probably have no idea what these are. I will go over some of the more common tubes and drains. If you see one on a rotation and aren't sure what it is or what it does - ask!

Jackson-Pratt (JP) drain:
  • used to drain surgical wounds and keep bacteria/blood from building up
  • usually attached to suction bulb
  • if you are asked to "strip" these tubes - it means you need to pull along the length of the clear tube filled with blood [this prevents clotting]

Blake drain:
  • similar to a JP drain
  • has a more narrow internal section so it is less uncomfortable for the patient when pulled out
  • has a blue line along the tube (this is how you can tell the difference between a JP and a Blake)  

Penrose drain:
  • yellow-colored tube used to drain large abscesses
  • no suction

Nasogastric Tube (NG Tube):
  • tube leading from nasopharynx to the stomach
  • used to drain stomach of fluids
Gastrostomy tube (G-Tube):
  • goes from the stomach to outside of the body
  • kind of like a permanent NG tube
  • used for feeding pts with obstructions or ileus

Jejunostomy tube (J-Tube):
  • primarily used for feeding

GJ Tube/Moss tube:
  • has 2 ports (1 to stomach, 1 to the jejunum)
  • acts like 1 G-tube and 1 J-tube
  • often used for pts at high risk for aspiration

  • a biliary tube shaped like a "T"

Source: First Aid for the Medical Student