Indwelling Catheters: Catheter Care

How to care for an Indwelling Catheter

  1. Patients with indwelling catheters require specific care to reduce the risk of UTI and avoidance of urethra trauma.
  2. Perform hand hygiene and apply gloves.
  3. Close curtain or door.
  4. Raise bed to appropriate working height. If side rails are raised, lower side rail on working side.
  5. Organize equipment for perineal care.
  6. Position patient and cover with bath blanket, exposing only perineal area.
  7. Place female patient in dorsal recumbent position.
  8. Place male patient in supine position.
  9. Don gloves and place waterproof pad under patient.
  10. Provide routine perineal care.
  11. Assess urethral meatus and surrounding tissues for inflammation, swelling, and discharge, and ask patient if burning or discomfort is felt.
  12. Using a clean washcloth, wipe in circular motion along length of catheter for about 10 cm (4 inches). Note the presence of any encrustation, and clean thoroughly.
  13. Replace as necessary the adhesive tape or multipurpose tube holder that anchors catheter to patient’s leg or abdomen. Remove adhesive residue from skin.
  14. Avoid placing tension on the catheter.
  15. Replace tubing and collection bag as necessary and/or according to institution policy, adhering to principles of surgical asepsis.
  16. Check drainage tubing and bag to ensure:
  17. Tubing is not looped or positioned above level of bladder.
  18. Tubing is coiled and secured onto bed linen.
  19. Tube is not kinked or clamped.
  20. Collection bag is positioned appropriately on the bed frame.
  21. Empty the collection bag as necessary but at least every 8 hours.
  22. Reposition patient as necessary. Cleanse perineum, and remove any adhesive residue from skin. Lower level of bed, and position side rails accordingly.
  23. Measure and empty contents of collection bag.
  24. Dispose of all contaminated supplies correctly, remove gloves, and perform hand hygiene.

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