JP drain question

Posted By
4/22/2014 7:33am
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Replies: 8

I have a question about what Les and I are seeing in her JP drain...  The nurses told us not to be concerned about seeing blood clots in the drain, and not to mess with them.  What they didn't tell us is what, exactly, a blood clot in the drain tube looks like.  We are seeing a long, thin, pink thing that is almost the length of the tube.  It looks like what I would imagine a vein would look like.  Fluid is still draining, but that thing looks strange.  Les is going to call the Dr's office this morning to ask about it, but I wanted to ask here, too.  Should we be concerned?

Bruce Davis - (4/22/2014 - 11:56am)

Had a J-tube a few years ago a few seperate occasions. Sometimes the blood clotted and sometimes it looked like a long uneven string.

I hope this helps.


Presently it's "Don't give up."

Marianne quinn - (4/22/2014 - 1:34pm)

Milk the tube some. The clots are probably not allowing the fluid to drain as well as it should.. Ask the nurse to. Show u how to do it. Very easy

Leslie'sHusband - (4/22/2014 - 2:56pm)


The nurse showed both of us how to do that before we left, but specifically said not to mess with a clot unless it stopped the drainage.  Maybe they were concerned that we would push it back inside by mistake?  Les called about it this morning, and was told to leave it alone since it was still draining.  It is almost as long as the exposed tubing, but is not thick enough to stop the flow of the draining fluid.  Bruce's descritpion of an uneven string is spot-on.  I guess I'm just used to a dark red 'external' blood clot, or scab, not a 'light pink string in a tube'.  Today is day 7, and volume has varied a little from day to day, but is generally declining, and is getting lighter every day.

Thank you!


Leslie'sHusband - (4/22/2014 - 2:35pm)


Thank you!  That's the best description that I've heard.


liberty04281 - (4/22/2014 - 3:03pm)

I had a drain when I had lymph nodes dessection. What you describe it looks to me normal, just the nurse should show you have to milk the tube.

Marianne quinn - (4/22/2014 - 11:17pm)

I thought my hubby's was staining well.when md milked it a whole lot more came out. Several hundred cubic centimeters . Be sure that you are doing it enough. Do not accept it is ok if there is a long stringy clot.  It should not  be there if you milk it well. My hubby had a lot of drainage though so maybe being more alarmed. For u than necessary

Kelly Smith - (4/23/2014 - 9:23am)

I had the exact same thing. Aside from gross, very normal!

BostonTerrierFan - (4/23/2014 - 7:15pm)

Hi Leslie and Husband! I had my JP drain removed just over a week ago, and the whole process of dealing with the drain was not the most pleasant experience, that's for sure. I was able to reach most of the drain, and I stripped it several times per day. My husband would strip the entire length at least twice per day. Even so, I had some of those "pink ribbons" for the majority of the time. Fluid was still draining at a good rate, so my doctor was not concerned. When they removed the drain, they found that there was a clot, which led to a small amount of fluid backup in the tissue. This drained out of the opening within a day or two, and I am now healing with no complications. My most important advice for your wife is to do the exercises her physical therapist showed her,to maintain her range of motion in her arm. It can help prevent or minimize axillary web syndrome.