A Foley catheter is an indwelling catheter inserted into the bladder through the urethra to drain urine and properly caring for a Foley catheter is critical. Several reasons someone might need a Foley catheter include urinary incontinence, prostate surgery, neurological conditions, or other medical conditions.
It’s important to note that a Foley catheter is usually used temporarily and removed when the person no longer needs it or when the condition that caused the need for the catheter is resolved.
A catheter that is not properly cared for can cause discomfort. Keeping the Foley catheter and tubing clean and dry and avoiding kinks or twists in the tubing can help reduce any pain.
Not properly caring for a Foley catheter may not allow it to function as intended. Keeping the tubing free from kinks and twists and the drainage bag appropriately positioned can help ensure that the catheter can drain urine from the bladder effectively.
Properly caring for a Foley catheter and drainage bag can help ensure the urine is flowing correctly. If the bag is not emptied regularly, or if the tubing is kinked or twisted, the urine flow may be impeded, leading to other problems such as urinary tract infections.
How to care for a Foley catheter and drainage bag
Here are some step-by-step instructions for caring for a Foley catheter and drainage bag:
1. Keep the area around the catheter clean and dry. Gently clean the skin around the catheter with soap and water, then pat it dry with a clean towel.
2. Empty and clean the drainage bag regularly. The frequency will depend on the amount of urine produced, but emptying the bag is generally recommended at least every 8 hours.
3. Check the tubing for any kinks or twists that may impede urine flow. If you notice any, gently straighten the tubing.
4. Keep the tubing and catheter securely in place. Avoid pulling or tugging on the catheter or tubing, as this can cause discomfort and increase the risk of infection. You might consider using a catheter holder for security.
5. Keep the drainage bag below bladder level at all times, so that gravity can help with the urine flow.
6. Report any problems or concerns to your healthcare provider. Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you notice any signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, or a foul odor from the catheter.
7. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after caring for the catheter and drainage bag.
8. Keep the catheter and tubing as dry as possible. If the tubing and catheter get wet, dry these items with a clean cloth.
It is essential to follow the specific instructions given by your healthcare provider and any additional instructions provided with the Foley catheter and drainage bag. If you have any questions, problems, or concerns, it is essential to contact your healthcare provider.