Drains are long tubes that can be placed in or around different organs. An abdominal drain, for example, is used to drain off extra fluid after an operation. Drains can also be used for the brain, lungs, heart and limbs.

Drains can be seen hanging off the side of the bed or on the floor. Drains usually have a sack at the end of them to collect the fluid. The fluid will be measured every day in ICU. This helps doctors calculate fluid balance in the body in a precise way.

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This topic was reviewed by an intensive care medicine specialist in July 2022.

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