Flushing your Drain
Your doctor may ask you to flush your
drainage tube. In some cases, this can help
keep the tube from becoming clogged or
help it drain more fluid. Sterile normal
saline (salt water) is used to do this. Your
doctor will tell you how much normal saline
to use and how often to flush.
Flush with ____________ milliliters of
saline ____________ times each day.
Sterile 10 mL normal saline syringe
1. Wash your hands with soap and warm
water. Dry with a clean towel.
2. Unscrew the blue cap on the stopcock
valve that connects to your drainage
3. Take the white cap off the syringe and
screw the syringe on to the stopcock.
4. There is a lever on the stopcock. Turn
the lever so that it points toward your
drainage bag and away from your body.
5. Slowly push the plunger of the syringe
to inject the saline into the tube going
into your body. You may have a cool
feeling while you are doing this. You
should not have to force the saline in.
If it does not go in easily, call the
Interventional Radiology Department
and you will be told what to do.
6. Turn the stopcock lever so that it points
back up to the syringe.
7. Unscrew the syringe and place a new
blue cap on the stopcock.
Please call Interventional Radiology if you
Leaking around the tube
Pain with flushing
Trouble flushing the tube or you feel
New redness, swelling or foul
smelling drainage around the tube
Any questions or concerns
Interventional Radiology Department,
Monday – Friday, 8:00am- 4:30 pm (608)
263-9729, option #3. Ask to leave a
message for the Interventional Radiology
After Hours, Nights and Weekends, please
call (608) 262-2122. This will give you the
paging operator. Ask for the Interventional
Radiology Resident on call. Give the
operator your name and phone number with
the area code. The doctor will call you
If you live out of the area, please call
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright ©9/2016. University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#5721.