In vitro evaluation of the capacity and nonlinear efficacy characteristics of bulb suction drains

Shih-Han Hung, Yuan Kai Liu, How Tseng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective. Bulb suction drains have long been used in various surgical procedures. The purpose of this study was to evaluate 4 commonly used bulb suction devices in vitro to explore the nonlinear changes in draining ability and efficiency along with the conformation changes of the device throughout the draining processes. Methods. Under a designed simulated scenario using pure water as the desired draining substance, the relative function of the J-VAC 100 cc (JV100) (Ethicon, Inc, Somerville, USA); the EVACUATOR 125cc (EP125) (Pacific Hospital Supply, Taiwan); the Bulb Reservoir 150 cc (BH150) (Hosmed, Inc, Miami, FL); and the HemoVac 400 cc (HV400) (Zimmer, Inc, Warsaw, IN) drains were compared. The maximum collection capacities and the dead space at maximum compression of each bulb drain were recorded and compared. The collected fluid weight was recorded along with time, and collection speeds were calculated and compared. Results. The maximum collected weight of the 4 drains were 110.07 ± 0.54 g (JV100), 122.7 ± 06.51 g (EP125), 140.8 ± 03.78 g (BH150), and 335.07 ± 04.24 g (HV400). The dead spaces under maximum compression were 15.63 ± 01.32 ml, 19.80 ± 03.37 ml, 34.23 ± 06.77 ml, and 82.83 ± 05.51 ml, respectively. The collecting speed-volume curves were generated from the authors' tested devices. Although slightly different individually, typical characteristics, such as tendency to reach maximum collection speed at the very beginning of the collection phase; rapid decline to about 65% of peak collection speed when approximately 30% of the total collection volume had been achieved; and inefficient collection speed in the later collection phase were noted. Conclusions. Among all the bulb drains tested in this study, all of them performed well in vitro. Although using bulb drains continues to be an effective and economic draining method after operation, clinicians should be aware of the nonlinear features of suction efficiency during the drainage process to avoid unexpected function deterioration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-19
Number of pages5
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Medical–Surgical


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