Another name for an indwelling catheter is a Foley catheter which is popularly referred to as just ‘Foley’. A Foley catheter is inserted into the bladder to drain urine continuously and it can be used by men and women alike. Head-trauma patients commonly use foley catheters in the early phases of the injury until bladder training starts.
This article is intended to be a general step by step guide and we advise that the information contained here-in be used in consultation with your health care practitioner.
How to insert a Foley catheter:
Make sure your catheterization tray has everything required:
- Foley catheter of your size
- Medical Gloves
- Urine drainage bag with corresponding tubes.
- Betadine swabs
- Pre-filled syringe
- Soap and wash cloth
Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water.
Lay patient flat on his back with legs flat on a bed or flat surface.
If the patient is in need of a catheter change, remove the old catheter by deflating the balloon using the available syringe. Withdraw all water from the catheter’s balloon before attempting to pull out the catheter.
Gently pull out the catheter.
Gently clean the penis with soap. Rinse it with the wash cloth until it is dry.
Re-wash your hands to ensure maximum sterility.
Open the catheter tray, arrange the supplies and put on the medical gloves. Use betadine swabs to lubricate the catheter end.
Connect the catheter to the urine bag. The hand holding the penis is considered ‘contaminated’ and must not come into contact with the catheter or associated supplies. The aim is to avoid infections invading the bladder.
Clean the urethral meatus (opening) with the betadine swabs you prepared. Be sure to use forward wiping motions towards the shaft of the penis. Do not swipe back and forth nor wipe twice with the same betadine swab.
Gently insert the already lubricated catheter into the urethra. Continue pushing smoothly even if urine starts draining until the ‘Y’ pigtail end is close to the urethral opening.
Hold the catheter in place and fill the catheter balloon with the fluid already in the syringe. Do not insert fluid into the catheter balloon until you see urine come out. If there is no urine, the catheter has not reached the bladder, and the fluid can cause trauma to the urethra leading to serious bleeding.
Clean excess betadine on the penis.
Place the urine bag below bladder level and leave it suspended from a bed or a chair. You may secure the catheter in place with a strap.
If you opt for a leg bag, please make sure that it is strapped below the knee.
Caring for your catheter
To prevent catheter associated urinary tract infections:
- Clean the urethral opening and the catheter with soap and water every day or after a bowel motion.
- Always clean your hands well before touching the catheter drainage system. Make sure the outlet valve remains sterile by avoiding contact with any contaminated surface or agent. If dirty, clean it with soap and water.
- A very slight pinkish urethral discharge is considered normal irritation from catheterization. You can apply KY jelly every six hours.
- Empty the urine bag every 8 hours or when full.
Cleansing a drainage bag
- Remove the dirty bag and attach a clean one.
- Clean the bag with warm and soapy water.
- Suspend the bag in a way that the outlet valve is draining well.