Wound drains play an important role in the management of wounds that arise in small animal practice. These wounds may result from trauma or following surgical intervention and the employment of drains may be used to improve healing by removing any fluid or air accumulation within tissues and reducing ‘dead space’ both of which are known to prolong wound healing and are associated with increased wound infection and wound dehiscence. Wound drains can be divided by their method of action as either passive or active, the selection of which drain type is suitable is dependent on the nature of the wound, its origin and its position. Correct management of wound drains in situ is a vital component of wound care and incorrect management of these drains can adversely affect wound healing and be detrimental to the patient and their recovery.
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