When a patient is put on long-term use of catheters, certain catheter problems may arise. In this article, we will talk about the five catheter problems and their solutions for easy catheterization.
Urinary catheters are thin, flexible tubes inserted into the bladder to let the urine drain out of the body. People with permanent or temporary bladder concerns require a catheter.
A Foley catheter is inserted via the urethra into the bladder to draw urine. The catheter tubings are attached to a catheter bag, also known as a drainage bag, where the urine is collected.
Catheter bypassing is when the catheter cannot drain the urine, which leads to urine leaking around the catheter. It is one of the most common catheter problems and can have many reasons behind it, such as:
Check for kinks in the catheter bag or tubings if you have a Foley catheter.
A clogged or blocked catheter is an emergency and thus needs immediate attention. Catheter blockage occurs when a physical barrier prevents the proper flow of fluids through the catheter.
There can be many reasons for a catheter blockage, for instance -
To ensure the catheter is not clogged, flush the catheter properly and place the drainage bag below the bladder when sitting, standing, or lying.
Flushing the catheter with saline solution helps the debris and bacterial buildup to move down the tubing and clear the catheter. Flushing the catheter periodically helps resolve many catheter problems.
A catheter irrigation kit, which includes -
Contact your doctor immediately if the patient has a full bladder or has stomach cramps.
Catheter dislodgement or the accidental pulling out of a catheter is a common catheter problem that can cause injury and perturb the treatment plan. Contact your doctor or nurse if the catheter dislodges.
One of the most common reasons for this catheter problem is improperly securing the catheter tubings. To avoid such instances, properly secure the catheter as your doctor prescribes and be careful when moving or changing positions.
Catheter-associated urinary tract infection is caused due to bacterial or fungal buildup in the catheter due to poor catheter care. The first course of action involves replacing the infected catheter with a new one.
Common symptoms may be -
Follow proper catheter care. Wash your hands with soap and water before and after handling the catheter, sterilize the insertion site, and change drainage bags and catheters often.
If you notice any of the abovementioned signs or have a fever or intense cramping, seek medical attention immediately. Your doctor will prescribe catheter change and antibiotics.
Bladder spasms with catheters can affect the quality of life of the patient and can cause further complications. According to the National Institutes of Health, Catheter-induced bladder irritation, also known as catheter cramp, can be strong enough to push on the inflated balloon of the catheter and cause urethral erosion.
If you experience bladder spasms with a catheter, consult your doctor. They will help you with catheter pain relief. To minimize the risk of catheter-induced bladder irritation and discomfort-
A leaking catheter may indicate a bigger catheter problem, like bladder spasms or blockage. Get medical advice as soon as you can to avoid further complications.
After catheter removal, you might feel some discomfort or pain while urinating. You may have to urinate more often in the first 48 hours after the removal. Seek immediate medical help if you notice bloating in your abdomen or blood in your urine.
Emptying your catheter bag when it is half to three-quarters full helps avoid leakage. To avoid infections, change the leg bags and valves every seven days.
Catheter kits are essential medical supplies; however, they can cause catheter problems if not managed properly. Many issues are easily resolved with proper catheter care and antibiotics. Some may need immediate medical attention.
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Shweta Chaubey, has been a Health Products For You contributor since 2021. An advocate-turned-writer, her desire to create meaningful and positive content has brought her to HPFY and what better than writing ...
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