After surgery, you will have a drain(s) called a Jackson-Pratt (JP) drain. This device suctions and collects fluid from your surgical area. The drain promotes healing and recovery, and reduces the chance of infection. The drain will be in place until the drainage slows enough for your body to reabsorb fluid on its own. While you are hospitalized the nursing staff will care for the drain and teach you to continue to do so at home.

How to Empty your JP Drain:

  • Open the top of the drain. Turn the drain upside down and squeeze the contents of the bulb into the measuring cup. Be sure to empty the bulb as completely as possible.
  • Use the chart to record the amount of drainage twice a day or any time the bulb is full. Record the total for 24 hours. If you have more than one drain, remember to record the drainage from each drain separately.
  • To prevent infection, do not let the stopper or top of the bottle touch the measuring cup or any other surface.

  • Use one hand to squeeze all of the air from the drain. With the drain still squeezed, use your other hand to replace the top. This creates the suction necessary to remove the fluids from your body.
  • Pin the drain back on your clothing to avoid pulling it out accidently.
  • Wash your hands again. Remember to wash your hands before and after the procedure to reduce the risk of infection.


PDF icon Download the Jackson-Pratt Drainage Record form.