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Thread: SP Cath Balloon Requires Sterile Water?

  1. #1
    Senior Member dnvrdave's Avatar
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    SP Cath Balloon Requires Sterile Water?

    My suprapubic catheter insertion kits came with a 30cc syringe. My bladder is very sensitive (easy AD), and I only inflate the (10cc) balloon to 6cc. The 30cc syringe is calibrated only every 5cc's, so it hard to insert exactly 6cc.

    We changed the catheter yesterday, and today we used an empty 10cc syringe to withdraw all the fluid from the balloon, see the volume, and reinsert it. The volume was 5.5cc.

    Here is my concern. After inserting 6cc into a new cath balloon, there are only 4cc remaining after 4 weeks (when we change the catheter). But yesterday, there were only 2.5 cc left in the old catheter. I deduced that my nurse probably inserted only 4.5 cc four weeks earlier, due the poor calibration of the 30cc syringe. My concern is that the catheter could fall out with as little as 2cc of fluid in the balloon.

    I asked my nurse to add a little more fluid (.5 cc) from the remainder in yesterday's 30cc syringe, but he refused, saying that it is no longer sterile. Technically, I think he is right, but how likely is it that some bacteria could infect me though the balloon? He put the cap back on the syringe yesterday, right after using it. (I plan to get a less picky nurse to add the fluid for me soon. Am I stupid?)

    I have another theory to test. I feel bad after every cath change, and felt very bad yesterday, with blood in the urine all day long. I think that because I went from a 2.5cc inflated balloon to 5.5cc, it introduced more trauma than usual. If the sterility is not a major concern, I want to try an experiment. When the catheter is 2 weeks old, I want to add 1cc of fluid. And when it is 3 weeks old, I want to add another 1cc. My goal is to try to maintain 6cc in the balloon, and prevent the trauma going from 4cc to 6cc with a new cath change. Of course, my problem is that I need 10cc syringes (not 30cc), so that 1cc is measurable. Can I buy sterile 10cc syringes in quantity (that could solve the sterility problem too)?

  2. #2
    if the fluid is leaking from the balloon you could possibly have a leak. I would recommend removing this catheter and placing a new one.

    the water in the catheter insertion trays are sterile water. That is all I order for my patients who need to flush the catheter or insert water into the balloon. No saline.

    pbr

  3. #3
    Senior Member dnvrdave's Avatar
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    I'm sorry if my post was confusing. There is no leak. The balloon always has 2cc less after 4 weeks (every month for 20 years). I put only 6cc because more causes mild AD (sweating and tension). I have low bladder volume; for example, during a cystoscopy, AD starts when the doctor has added 30cc fluid to my bladder.

    You said you always use sterile water, but is it critical? Can I use the "sterile" water that is left over in a syringe I partially used, and recapped right away?

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
    if the fluid is leaking from the balloon you could possibly have a leak. I would recommend removing this catheter and placing a new one.

    the water in the catheter insertion trays are sterile water. That is all I order for my patients who need to flush the catheter or insert water into the balloon. No saline.

    pbr
    I change my foley every four weeks. I insert 10cc saline. At the end of the four weeks it is always 8cc withdrawn. I have know idea what happens to it but it's the same every four weeks.

  5. #5
    Same here. It is always about 2cc less. To fill the balloon I use tap water and mix it with a few sprays of Veterycin. So far so good.

  6. #6
    Are you using a silicone or latex catheter?? Silicone will leak tiny amounts of water through the balloon due to the structure of the material. We recommend deflating and reinflating the balloon every week if you are using a silicone catheter. Latex should not do this unless you have a defective balloon.

    (KLD)

  7. #7
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
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    The same happens here with my foley - not as much fluid comes out of the balloon as went in.

    I over-inflate it by 1-1.5cc's for this reason.
    Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

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    Why isn't anyone answering Dave's question? Is the water left in an injection syringe still sterile enough to put in 0.5 cc once he has injected 6 the day before?

    Personally, I would not worry about it, but then I like to live on the edge...
    Don - Grad Student Emeritus
    T3 ASIA A 26 years post injury

  9. #9
    Senior Member Cowboys_Place's Avatar
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    Sorry to jump into the middle of someone's thread however I'm a little confused with you all talking about inflating, deflating and reinflating the catheters balloon.

    I've had A. Foley catheter now for one month and it just got changed. On Monday I'm going in to discuss getting a SP hopes that stops my sweats. . In the meantime I didn't know we were supposed to occasionally mess with this balloon. .?

    Anyone mind giving me the lowdown in simple terms of what should and shouldn't be done? I'm personally thinking just leave things as they are otherwise it's going to drive my poor mother crazy.
    Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway. .(John Wayne)

  10. #10
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    When I check my catheter and it's a bit low I just replace the old water with new sterile water. It eliminates any question about sterility or safety.

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