Research and Development in Hyg Med 25.
Year 2000 - Vol. 1/2

Innovation in Drainage: Developments for the Future

The drainage of body secretions has seen continuous development over the past 2000 years. In the early days, Hippocrates used small metal tubes to drain the contents of abscesses. This technique was later improved upon by introducing gold and silver tubes for drainage. Currently, vacuum systems are in common use for postoperative drainage of wound secretions. However, this technique is not without complications. Advanced technologies must be applied to reduce the potential risks which are briefly summarized in the following.

Despite continual improvements being made in surgical techniques, the incidence of postoperative inflammation in trauma surgery and following orthopedic operations is reported at up to two percent in the literature. In addition to these severe disturbances of wound healing, complications such as postoperative swelling and hematoma, though less severe, also significantly affect the postoperative outcome. Swelling causes delayed mobilization which is associated with a pneumonia or thrombosis risk, especially in elderly patients.

True asepsis, gentle management of soft tissues, insertion and withdrawal of the drainage, and edema prophylaxis are essential requirements of osteosynthesis and have a significant impact on wound healing.

Though the incidence of hematoma was reduced by the introduction of vacuum drainage, hematoma and other disturbances of wound healing continue to be reported in the literature despite the proper use of the instrumentation, e.g. the reported incidence of postoperative hematoma after total endoprosthesis varies between 1.2 and 22 percent.

Some of the complications of common vacuum systems cannot be prevented, in fact they are caused by the systems. Complications typically relate to the applied vacuum, frequent change of bottles with ensuing infection risk, valve-like closure of the drain due to vital tissue being suctioned into the drain leading to postoperative hematoma.

Aside from the factors listed above, which offer microorganisms ideal feeding grounds and consequently reduce the probability of timely wound healing the use of common vacuum systems is associated with a number of additional infection risks:
  • from the viewpoint of hygiene the bottles used in vacuum drainage systems give rise to some concern related to errors in the sterilization process and subsequent handling of the bottles,
  • in some of the existing vacuum systems the product is quite likely to contain residual quantities of the sterilization gas or reaction products,
  • another medical risk is posed by vacuum systems, some of which are in common use today, in which the vacuum is reduced depending on make and storage time.

Based on these considerations the following requirements for drainage systems can be derived:
  • fully closed sterile system from insertion until withdrawal of the drain,
  • suction performance and vacuum of the closed system must be adjustable to suit different types of wounds and stages of healing,
  • cellular detritus and secretions must be completely drained for the entire period of application,
  • adequate internal wound surface adaptation without tissue damage,
  • minimal blood loss, and
  • unrestricted patient mobility and timely wound healing.

The DRAINTEC® technology complies with these requirements. This technology combines wound drainage, suction/irrigation drainage, and drainage-blood refusion systems The DRAINTEC® technology follows a very practical approach in that it thinks and develops according to the requirements of the wound and seeks to answer the question "what suits the wound best?". The DRAINTEC® technology offers the highest degree of safety in that it is a completely closed system from insertion until withdrawal of the drain which is controlled by the wound, i.e. the volume of secretions produced, and affords immediate mobilization of the patient thus promoting rapid wound healing.

The DRAINTEC® technology is controlled by the patient and not vice versa. With the drainTEC technology, the time of the inflexible universal drainages, which were associated with uncertainties, contamination risks, and fear of hematoma development, has come to an end. DRAINTEC® technology suits the needs of the individual patient optimally and offers both the patient and the attending physician a high degree of application safety.

To offer patients and physicians a high degree of application safety, DRAINTEC® GmbH's company policy is implemented in all activities, from research and development to the continual provision of application support. The company policies of DRAINTEC® GmbH include high ethical standards, strive for the highest degree of product safety and quality, and customer satisfaction as well as continued development and improvement.