Chapter 10. Tubes and Attachments

10.1 Introduction

Patients in acute care and community settings often have various tubes and attachments to assist their recovery from surgeries, medical conditions, or procedures. Health care providers must understand how these devices work — their purpose, function, insertion, or removal — and how to prevent complications from these various tubes and attachments.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe principles related to the function of tubes and drainage systems
  • Identify factors that affect the flow of fluid through tubes
  • Describe guidelines for working with patients with drainage systems
  • Discuss the purposes, types, special precautions, potential complications, and interventions for
    • Nasogastric tubes
    • Indwelling catheters
    • Closed chest drainage systems
    • Ostomies/urostomies
    • Tracheostomy tubes


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Clinical Procedures for Safer Patient Care Copyright © 2015 by Glynda Rees Doyle and Jodie Anita McCutcheon is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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