Proper catheter care will help prevent infection, control odor and promote comfort. Catheter care should be part of your daily routine.
Supplies you will need
- Warm water
- Soap, washcloth and towel
- Clean container to catch urine
What to do
- Wash your hands.
- Put on gloves.
- Explain to the patient what you are going to do even if you do not think they can hear you.
- Gently cleanse the skin around the catheter entrance site with a warm, soapy washcloth.
- Wipe down the tubing away from the body being careful not to pull on the catheter; rinse skin and tubing, and then pat dry. For women, always clean front to back.
- Keep tubing free of kinks. Secure the bag on the side of the bed or chair.
- Make sure the bag is at a level lower than the patient to promote drainage.
- To prevent the catheter from tugging on the patient, the tubing may be secured to the thigh with a piece of tape.
- Empty the bag at least once a day, if not more often:
- Remove the drainage tube from the sleeve and hold it over a clean container.
- Without letting the tube touch anything, unclamp the drainage tube and let the urine drain.
- When the bag is empty, reclamp the drainage tube and reinsert the drainage tube into the sleeve.
- Clean catheter entrance site and tubing at least once a day.
- Do not use powders, lotions or Vaseline on or near the catheter entrance site.
- Bacteria can travel up through the bag to the bladder causing infection, so it is important to follow these instructions.
- Notify the hospice nurse if you notice:
- Blood in the urine
- Unpleasant odor or unusual color
- Leaking of urine or discharge
- Lower abdominal pain or a feeling of fullness
- An unusual amount of sediment or mucus in the bag
- Sudden increase in temperature
- The drainage bag will be changed by the hospice nurse as needed.
Adapted from: The Lippincott Manual of Nursing Practice (10th ed.) Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2013.