Removal of Chest Drains in Cardiac Surgical Patients

Mr Singh / Mr McCrystal

Chest drains are only to be removed when all of the following criteria are met.

24 hours post surgery

Chest drainage is less than 50 ml per bottle over 3 hours & total drainage of all drains in 24 hours is less than or equal to 1200ml.

If these criteria are not met, chest drains are to remain insitu for a further 24 hours.

"After Hours":  Chest drains should only be removed "after hours" following consultation with Mr Singh / Mr McCrystal.

Mr Shaw

Mediastinal and Pericardial drains are to be removed when:

  • Drainage is less than 50 ml per bottle over 3 hours.  (NB Mediastinal and Pericardial drains may be "Blake™" or "other").

Pleural drains ("Blake™")

  • Are to be connected to the "Snyder HemovacTM wound drainage device" (grenades) when mediastinal & pericardial drains are removed.
  • (NB:  Pleural drains are to remain connected to the 'Rocket' drainage system if drainage is greater than 50ml/hr and surgeon should be made aware).
  • Pleural drains on "grenades" will be removed when:
      • Drainage is less than 100ml per drain over 24 hours.

"After hours": Chest drains are to be removed "after hours" if above criteria has been met.  The ICU Registrar must be alerted to drain removal prior to drains being removed.

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Page last reviewed: 13 May 2014