jackson prattYour child's Jackson-Pratt (JP) drain removes fluid that collects inside the body after an operation. The soft plastic bulb, on the end of the drain, creates suction to pull the fluid out. The bulb will not work if it gets too full, and thus must be emptied periodically.

How to empty your child's Jackson-Pratt (JP)

Empty the Jackson-Pratt before it gets full

  1. Do this before the bulb gets full
  2. Wash your hands.
  3. Get the measuring cup.
  4. Open JP bulb cap. Try not to touch the inside of the cap.
  5. Empty the drainage into the measuring cup. Set the measuring cup aside.
  6. Before closing the cap, squeeze the JP bulb as flat as possible.
  7. While the bulb is squeezed flat, close the cap. The bulb must be flat in order to work properly and create suction.
  8. Record the amount of fluid every time you empty your JP.
  9. Flush the fluid down the toilet.
  10. Wash your hands.

Cleansing the skin around the JP Tube

Clean the skin around the JP tube if the dressing becomes loose.

  • Wash your hands.
  • Gently remove the old dressing.
  • Clean the skin around the tube with mild soap and rinse with water. Avoid pulling the stitch holding the drain in place.
  • Apply a new dressing. Tape dressing and tubing to skin. Secure bulb to clothing with tape or safety pin.
  • Wash your hands.

When do I call the doctor's office?

Call our office at 415-476-2538 for the following:

  • If the tube falls out
  • Fever (temperature greater than 38.0 C or 100 F)
  • Significant redness of the skin where the tube comes out (a small amount of redness can be normal)
  • Significant drainage from the skin around the tube site.
  • Increased tenderness and swelling at the drain site.
  • Cloudy, foul-smelling drainage.
  • Increasing volume of drainage from the JP bulb for more than two days.

Remember to bring your record of JP output to the doctor's office at your follow up appointment. The amount of output will decrease over time.