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Thread: Foley Catheter

  1. #1
    Senior Member omeleteman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Rio de Janeiro-Brazil

    Foley Catheter

    Hi Nurse and all,

    I cath every six hours and as I like to sleep for about 10-12 hours at weekends, I would like to know if using a foley catheter is a good solution for not having to wake up for cathing.
    What size does the foley catheter has to be? I use a 12 (in Brazilian standarts size) to cath. Does it have to be larger?
    Is it the best way? Are there any other solutions, remebering that I´m in Brazil where equipments and stuff related to SCI are difficult to find.
    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    I'm afraid I don't know Brazilian standard sizes. Catheters in the United States are labeled in "French" units. Yours would be a 12 French in our way of talking. 12 French is really a pediatric size catheter. 14-16 French are more commonly used for adults here. Do you have any trouble inserting a 12 Brazilian catheter? If they're the same as French sizes, it's actually easier to inser a larger catheter than a smaller one in an adult. People on this forum are generally opposed to foley catheters, but I personally think that they can fill an important niche in bladder management. I don't like the idea of taking out a foley catheter and reusing it a week later, so if you can get a new one each week, putting it in for the weekend, is not such a bad idea.

    Good Luck.


  3. #3


    On the same lines, a friend has a son on a vent, so no arm function. They are overwhelmed with health issues.
    My question regarding Foley is, they intermittent cath him, 24/7. They set the alarm to cath, then he has spasms and wakes up, so no-one gets any rest!
    Would an indwelling foley be ok at night, do you think? His bladder wouldn't shrink in that short of a time, would it?
    I sounds like that would be the answer for them, intermittent during the day, then indwelling at night.
    What are your thoughts/concerns, and
    Thank YOu,
    Cathy J

  4. #4
    I'm not at work right now so I can't give you the citation, but in the center where I work, if a person can't cath him or her self, we ALWAYS use an indwelling catheter. There is a research study done at the University of Washington that showed that there were no better outcomes from intermittent catheterization done by an attendant as opposed to a foley. The gains were only when a person can cath him/herself. I would not discharge a ventialtor dependent quad with anything but a foley or a suprapubic. period. The caregiver burden is just too great and it so greatly restricts the independence of the person themselves.


  5. #5


    Thanks again, RAB,
    I will forward this info to them.
    Their rehab hospital insisted on intermittent!
    He has had UTI after UTI.
    We have been lucky with our son, rarely UTI
    with an indwelling cath., suprapubic soon.
    Cathy J

  6. #6
    Senior Member omeleteman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Rio de Janeiro-Brazil
    Well, Nurse. I don´t think we use same size as French because as you say there that 12 is pediatric, this may be different cause our 12 is large enough.
    So, let me try to make you understand better my point. What I mean is, do I have to use a larger foley catheter in relation to the one I use in intermitent every 6 hour cath?

    My idea of using foley would be a new one each evening at weekends that I need to sleep more than 6 hours avoiding UTI for spending more than 6 hours without cath cause of sleeping too long. Did you get my bad english?
    Example: Saturday evening going to a party, having some beer, needing to sleep more than 6 hours. I would use it till waking up, then follow intermitent normally.
    Does it sound ok to you?
    Just to clarify it to me, please, ok?
    Last edited by omeleteman; 08-31-2005 at 09:40 PM.

  7. #7
    No, use the same size that you use for intermittent cath. My advice is to put the foley in before the party and wear a leg bag under your clothes. That is safest for your bladder. Maybe take it out the next day or, if you're going to be partying on both Friday and Saturday, put it in on Friday and take it out on Sunday.


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