Risks Associated with Using Catheters and its Preventive Measures

The emergence of catheters has made it easier for the elderly as well as those who are advised to take bed rest, or have restrictions in their mobility. Today, quality catheters like 3 Way Foley catheter are used by many for their day-to-day usage at home or during their stay at the hospital. There are several types of catheters with the external, intermittent and indwelling being the most popular types.

The intermittent catheters are those that are inserted whenever you require to urinate or at regular intervals. You should be prescribed with this type of catheter only if it suits you and you are able to manage it. The infection risk is much lesser with this kind of catheter.

Indwelling catheters are often referred to as Foley catheters and it remains in the bladder for a period of time. These are specifically used with patients who are comatose, sedated, those with an enlarged prostrate or those with an issue of incontinence. With the help of indwelling catheters the urine can be drained into a urinary drainage bag from the bladder and it is changed frequently by the physician or the patient.

Risks Associated with the Usage of Foley Catheters

Several risks are there as the indwelling catheter remains within the bladder for long period of time. They include the following.

  • Allergic reactions to catheter material i.e. latex

  • Bladder stones

  • Urinary Tract Infections

  • Injury to urethra

One of the most common complications that is triggered by Foley catheters is Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). The first step to prevent UTIs is to identify the infection in the first place. Here are some of the most common issues associated with UTIs. These include the following:

  • Chills

  • Fever

  • Headache

  • Lower back pain and aches

  • Burning of the genital area or the urethra

  • Leaking of urine from the catheter

  • Blood in the urine

You should let your doctor know as soon as you find any of the symptoms. If left untreated then UTIs can result in permanent bladder and kidney damage and even lead to death in case of the elderlies.

Preventive Measures to Adopt

By taking proper care of the Foley catheter you can prevent complications associated with the catheter like Urinary Tract Infection to a great extent. Here are some of the effective measures that you should consider.

  • Use water and soap to clean around the opening of the catheter on a daily basis.

  • To prevent UTIs associated with catheter usage you should drink ample amount of water on a daily basis.

  • You should empty your drainage bag when it gets full and prior to going to sleep every night.

  • You should keep your drainage bag positioned much lower than your bladder all the time to prevent urine from getting back into your bladder.

  • Prior to another usage, you should use a mixture of vinegar and water to clean the catheter well.

  • You must wash your hands before touching your catheter and your catheter opening.

Now that you know how to use the Foley catheter you should adhere to the preventive measures so that you can reap the maximum benefits that it offers and stay healthy.

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