How to Take Care of Your Urinary Catheter

A urinary catheter is recommended when you are not able to hold urine or are not able to urinate by yourself.             There can be a number of reasons for this like incontinence and prostate enlargement. This is also required if prostate cancer develops post-surgery.

Apart from that, urinary catheter is also put to use when the lower part of the body becomes paralysed. Your physician will decide for how long you require the catheter.

An indwelling catheter is nothing but a flexible plastic tube that is inserted through the urethra (the opening that carries the urine from the bladder to outside the body) into the bladder for draining the urine. The tube remains in its position by a small balloon that is inflated once the tube is placed in the right manner in the bladder. The urine then gets drained into the bag that is attached with the thighs.

This goes without saying that for proper functioning, the urinary catheter should also be taken care of in the right way just like any other device. Here an attempt is made to help you with this process.

Taking Care of Your Urinary Catheter at Home

 Here are some ways in which you can take care of your urinary catheter at home.

  • Check the area around the catheter for signs of infection or inflammation like the swollen, irritated, tender or red skin at the drainage or insertion site around the catheter.
  • Ensure that the urine is flowing into the drainage bag out of the catheter.
  • Make sure that the urinary catheter does not pull or drag the catheter.
  • Make sure that the urinary drainage bag is placed below the level of the bladder.

Taking Care of Your Urinary Catheter

If there are specific instructions that  your doctor or nurse has given you then you should follow them. Remember to always wash your hands before and after touching the catheter.

So here are some instructions that will help you to keep up the hygiene of your urinary catheter. Just read on to know that.

  • Use water and soap to wash carefully around the drainage tube.
  • Clean the area around the tube twice daily.
  • Dry up and rinse well with a clean tube.
  • Do not pull or tug the drainage tube.
  • Do not tug or pull the catheter.

Time to Call the Doctor

If there are clear instructions, then you should know well when to call the doctor.

  • You feel like bladder is full and no urine or little urine is flowing into the bag for more than 4 hours.
  • The urine colour is changed and it looks cloudy or bloody or has huge blood clots.
  • You have pain in the back, pelvis, abdomen or legs.
  • There is a foul odour in your urine.
  • The insertion site has become tender, swollen or red or very irritated and you can see pus draining from the site of catheter insertion.
  • You develop vomiting, nausea or shaking chills.
  • You have a flank or back pain or have a fever above 101 degree F or 37.8 degree Celsius.

The above are some of the ways in which you can take care of your Foley catheter. These will surely help you to lead a healthy and hygienic life.


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