Indwelling Foley Catheter Care

Document created by tfreiberg Employee on Dec 27, 2016Last modified by mcunningham on Dec 29, 2017
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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

  • Gloves
  • Warm water
  • Soap, washcloth and towel
  • Clean container to catch urine


What to do

  1. Wash your hands.
  2. Put on gloves.
  3. Explain to the patient what you are going to do even if you do not think they can hear you.
  4. Gently cleanse the skin around the catheter entrance site with a warm, soapy washcloth.
  5. 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.
  6. Keep tubing free of kinks. Secure the bag on the side of the bed or chair.
  7. Make sure the bag is at a level lower than the patient to promote drainage.
  8. To prevent the catheter from tugging on the patient, the tubing may be secured to the thigh with a piece of tape.
  9. Empty the bag at least once a day, if not more often:
    1. Remove the drainage tube from the sleeve and hold it over a clean container.
    2. Without letting the tube touch anything, unclamp the drainage tube and let the urine drain.
    3. When the bag is empty, reclamp the drainage tube and reinsert the drainage tube into the sleeve.


Special instructions

  • 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:
    1. Blood in the urine
    2. Unpleasant odor or unusual color
    3. Leaking of urine or discharge
    4. Lower abdominal pain or a feeling of fullness
    5. An unusual amount of sediment or mucus in the bag
    6. 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.