Foley catheters are thin rubber tubes that are used to drain urine out of your body. The catheter is inserted into your bladder and can be worn for hours or days. If you have a Foley catheter then you know that you should be taking care of it each and every day. If you follow these steps every day to care for your catheter then you can prevent kidney and bladder infections.
Always Wash Hands- Before you begin your daily care routine for your Foley catheter, it is important that you wash your hands. You should always use warm water and soap to ensure your hands are clean before touching the Foley catheter or your body, which can help decrease infection.
Wash Area Once a Day- You should always keep your catheter and skin clean by washing the surrounding areas once a day at least. It is also important that you wash the skin and catheter after each time you have a bowel movement to prevent the spread of disease or infection. Washing at least once a day will also make you feel better in general and can help decrease skin irritation or chafing.
Urine Bag Goes Below the Bladder- The urine bag that is attached to the Foley catheter should always be below the bladder. In order for the urine bag to work correctly, you should position the bag about waist level. This can help prevent the urine from moving backward and possibly entering your bladder. Infections are very common if the urine flows backward into the bladder and it can cause many complications.
Wear Appropriate Undergarments- You should also be wearing the proper undergarments if you have a Foley catheter in place. Cotton underwear is the best option if you have a Foley catheter because this will allow for air flow and will keep your genitalia cool and dry. Other types of underwear such as satin or silk can create warmth and moisture, which are all good environments for bacteria to grow. In order to prevent bacteria or infection, wear cotton underwear at all times or at times you are wearing the Foley catheter.
Drink 8 Cups of Liquid Daily– You should also be drinking at least eight cups of liquid a day, preferably water or juice. You should ask your doctor if you are on a restricted fluid intake but you should always be drinking plenty of juice, milk and water. Try to avoid liquids that contain caffeine in them which are carbonated soft drinks and coffee. If you like to drink these types of liquids then you should always drink decaffeinated for the best results while you have a Foley catheter.
Position Catheter Correctly During Bedtime– When going to bed you want to make sure that your Foley catheter is positioned properly. You want to make sure that the tubing does not loop during the night, so you should hang it beside your bed. You should hang the urine bag below the level of your bladder, so around the bottom of the bedframe is the best place. You might have to add a clamp to your bedframe so that you can properly hang your urine bag at the level needed.
Living with a Foley catheter does not have to be difficult or embarrassing if you follow these easy tips. These daily care tips will ensure that you are getting the most out of your Foley catheter and will ensure you are protecting yourself against infection or bacteria. Living with a Foley catheter can be challenging at first, but after you get used to the routine, it will become second nature.