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Thread: Indwelling Foley Catheter question

  1. #1

    Indwelling Foley Catheter question

    My son Chad just got a Foley Catheter last Friday. I am curious as to how often the bag should be changed...or can it be cleaned??? We received two overnight bags and two leg bags from our medical supply company. I'm just wondering how long they can be used...I would also like to know how often the actual catheter should be changed too. Please let me know...thank you

  2. #2
    Why did he choose an indwelling catheter at the T12 level? Is he having problems with intermittent cath?

    Be aware that the use of indwelling catheters long term can significantly impair his fertility and the chance of fathering children.

    It is preferable to NOT open the catheter tubing to change bags, but most people do. If you do this, then the bags should be cleaned daily. Use this procedure:

    1. Drain urine (wear gloves for this procedure).
    2. Fill bag 1/3 full with tap water (use a funnel attached to the inflow connector with a short piece of rubber tubing).
    3. Shake vigorously for 10 seconds.
    4. Drain.
    5. Repeat.
    6. Fill bag 1/3-1/2 full with a 10% solution of household bleach and water.
    7. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds.
    8. Drain.
    9. Leave connectors and drain spout OPEN.
    10. Wrap in a clean dry towel and store in a basin until needed.

    Replace bags monthly.

    The indwelling catheter can go as long as 6-8 weeks between changes (which MUST be done with sterile technique) as long as the catheter does not clog sooner. If it does, then schedule changes sooner than the usual time it takes to clog.

    Don't routinely irrigate, but have irrigation supplies handy, and know how to do it so you can irrigate a sudden clog without having to change the whole catheter.

    Be sure the catheter is secured to the skin to prevent urethral tension, the catheter sliding in and out of the urethra, and accidental dislodgement. Ideally, the catheter for males should be secured to the abdomen to keep the penis laying upwards on the lower pubic area.

    Fluid intake should be a minimum of 3 liters daily. Avoid caffeine and fluids high in sugar.

    Consider a SP catheter for long term use if he is determined to stay with an indwelling catheter. This has advantages for less urethral trauma, and also for sexual activities.

    Start annual screening for bladder cancer at 5 years after using an indwelling catheter.


  3. #3
    The reason he is using an indwelling catheter is because he has been incontinent for the past month and a half. He was really getting angry and frustrated being wet all the time. His date of injury is 8/19/06 and his bladder was doing just fine with intermittent catheterization until this point. It was so bad that he didn't even want to go anywhere. He stayed cooped up in the house and he was getting depressed. Well...ever since he's had the foley in since last Friday, he has been doing wonderful.
    I worked in a hospital as a PCA for 3 1/2 years and had taken prerequisite courses for nursing and I thank God I have some knowledge to be able to help him. The medical supply co. delivered his foley cath on Friday and I inserted it immediately after I got home from work - I definitely made sure it was sterile. The only thing I didn't know was how often to clean or change the bags. I was used to dealing with the patients on my floor and of course we removed the foleys before they left for home. I never had any knowledge on this. I also don't know how to irrigate...I will talk to Chad's doctor and see if someone would teach me when we go back for his check-up on June 5th.
    I didn't realize an indwelling could be used with a SP...I will definitely talk to Chad about this and have a chat with his doctor.
    I am so thankful for all of your knowledge and appreciate your quick response. This is an awesome website and I don't know what I would do without it. You are the best!

  4. #4
    We leave the bag connected to the catheter, and replace the whole assembly every 3 weeks. Much longer and the uriine becomes more & more cloudy & stinky and has more & more "sediment" and visible colonies in it.
    - Richard

  5. #5
    Is his urologist an expert in SCI/neurologic urology?

    What medications were tried to stop his incontinence between caths? Was Botox or an augmentation ever suggested?

    When did he last have urodynamics?

    I hate to see a younger person this soon after injury (when the bladder is still changing a lot) give up on intermittent cath without really working on all the options first. Please note my concerns above.


  6. #6
    He doesn't have a urologist. He has only been dealing with his SCI doctor at Magee Rehab in Philadelphia. They performed a CMG in March and they are going to do another one on June 5th.

  7. #7
    They had prescribed Detrol 4mg twice a day

  8. #8
    We don't consider urodynamics valid if an indwelling catheter has been in place up to 7 days prior to the test.

    He needs not just a CMG, but full urodynamics, best if it is videourodynamics, and he needs a urologist.

    There are other meds and med combinations. Please don't have him give up on intermittent cath so easily.


  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Tallahassee, FL

    Red face Try other meds / dont give up on self str8 cath'ing

    I tried other meds and terrible leaking and stil to this day I am incontinet. BUT... as soon as I got on Enablex... boom Shaka Lacka!!! I stay dry until I insert a cath.... except for night... when I lay down.. all bets are off. So I resort to a night technique that is definitly not for you at this point! You have got to get through a few years until you see what you wound up with! I changed up until nearly 4 years.... now after 4 years... I think I know what I have to deal with. It aint great... but Im here and dealing with it. If I can get throught ... anyone can, cause Im a mental moron! Thanks, Mike
    Mike (Florida)

    Cant we get 1 do over?

  10. #10
    Mike, why don't you just use an indwelling 24/7???


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