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Safety Pins to Secure JP Drains?

  • 1.  Safety Pins to Secure JP Drains?

    Posted 01-08-2020 15:26
    Hello, I'm an RN and recent member, and am so impressed with the educational community of shared topics! Given the vast spectrum of ONS professionals; I wanted to reach out to see if I could get any thoughts about why in 2020 it is still so common practice to secure JP drains (mastectomy drains) with safety pins?  Given the known frustrations, and complications patients face managing their drains, and infection control and sharps exposure issues, I'm wondering if there is something I'm missing. In avoidance of any possible conflict of interest, I want to be transparent in sharing that there there are alternatives, one which I assisted in development of, a Drainage Bulb Holder, that avoids use of safety pins/tape and is used in many hospitals, however at the recent ONS convention and in my experiences with nurses I'd say 90% report their facilities still use safety pins. I'm interested in a larger discussion about possible reasons why, aside from cost, with the clinical focus on outcomes, as well as the aforementioned infection control and sharps exposure issues there is seemingly not a focus on eliminating safety pins!

    Mary Prody
    White Bear Lake MN

  • 2.  RE: Safety Pins to Secure JP Drains?

    Posted 01-09-2020 09:45
    Hi Mary:
    Good question. I think the safety pin practice arises from "we've always done it this way" thinking. It seems an expedient McGuyver fix, but has all the risks you described. The ANA's American Nurse Today journal posted one good solution, a surgical drain securement belt. Here is a link to the discussion:  ​

    While there is cost involved, the ROI would be great if injuries and drain complications were monetized.

    Judy Bartley, DNP, RN, SCRN, RN-BC

    Judith Bartley DNP RN SCRN RN-BC
    Nurse Educator
    James Cancer Hospital
    Grove City OH

  • 3.  RE: Safety Pins to Secure JP Drains?

    Posted 01-09-2020 09:54
    I recently started making drain pocket belts.  I give them away in my clinic and they are available on my etsy page (MeAndMomMakingHats).
    If you or a patient would like them, or if you have a navigator or surgeon that you would like me to contact - I can mail the drain belts.
    I would give them away for anyone referred by ONS :)
    I also have ribbon drain holders for the shower - which I can give away too.

    Thank you,
    Oncology/Hematology Nurse Practitioner

    Jessica Engel DNP RN
    Nurse Practitioner
    Wausau WI

  • 4.  RE: Safety Pins to Secure JP Drains?

    Posted 01-14-2020 11:16
    Hello There-

    The newer post op surgical bras have plastic rings that snap so that you can slip the white plastic loop of the JP drain over an end of the ring.  Then you would snap it closed.  These rings are attached at the bottom of the bra so the drain hangs lower than the surgical area.  Extremely convenient for the patient and very simple to use.  The older bras do not have these rings. Therefore I have found jp drains pinned to patient gowns, underneath a patient, and above the surgical bed which does not aid in drainage. So glad this practice is disappearing. The belts look terrific for other Oncology surgical procedures as long as they are not put on tightly.
    Hope this helps.

    Kimberly Cromwell-Piniella
    Oncology Breast Navigator
    Somerville, NJ

  • 5.  RE: Safety Pins to Secure JP Drains?

    Posted 01-14-2020 14:00
    Thanks Kimberly!

    Mary Prody RN
    White Bear Lake MN