How to care for an indwelling catheter?

How to care for an indwelling catheter

A urinary catheter is needed when a person is unable to urinate. It is a flexible plastic tube which drains urine from the bladder and push it out into a bag outside the body. The tube is placed into the bladder by inserting it through the urethra which drains urine from the bladder into a bag.

The use of catheter becomes necessary when someone, whether men or women, are unable to urinate on their own due to medical issues or diseases or injury to private organs etc. These tubes can be for either be short-term, long-term or medium-term basis, depending upon the severity of the problem in patients.

You can also use catheters at home after consulting with the doctor to bring relief to the loved ones. However, care for catheter is important for many reasons, particularly due to the risk involved with it in terms of infections. There are some tips you could follow and ensure right results with the catheter.

Let’s look at how to care for an indwelling catheter –

  • It’s important to first consult a doctor before using the catheter upon anyone
  • It’s important to wash the hands before and after handling a catheter
  • You have to follow all the instructions by the doctor to use the catheter in a standard manner
  • You have to make sure that the tube is neither twisted nor kinked else the flow of urine might be impacted
  • You need to check the urine is flowing out of the tube and reaching into the bag
  • It’s important to keep the collection bag below the level of the bladder so that the flow of urine is right
  • The bag should never drag and pull on the catheter else it can impact the flow of urine
  • In general, people with catheters can shower with some care, provided the doctor has not advised against it
  • You need to regularly check for signs of infection or inflammation in the area where the tube is placed
  • There could be red or tender skin, pus, sign of irritation or swollen area around the tube and you have to check it
  • It’s important to wash and clean the area around the tube twice a day using clean water
  • You have to use only a clean and sterilized towel to dry the region around the tube
  • Doctors generally advised against using lotion or powder around the skin where the tube is inserted
  • Avoid tugging or pulling on the tube as it can impact the urine flow
  • Hygiene is a big issue with the use of indwelling catheter and you have to take care on this aspect
  • It’s good if a medical nurse or medical professional is asked to insert the tube for the first time
  • And lastly, avoid other people from touching the tube as there might be risk of infection.

Quite clearly, using a Foley catheter comes with some care you have to follow to get the best results possible. You can consult the doctor in case any issue is faced with the tube so that the flow or urine can be maintained right.