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How To Empty a Catheter Bag?

How To Empty a Catheter Bag?
Akanksha Nigam

An indwelling catheter also called a foley catheter, is a type of catheter that stays in the bladder after insertion. Depending on the condition, it could be for a long or short time. The foley catheter has a balloon on one end. The balloon is placed in the bladder through the urethra. The balloon is inflated with a sterile saline solution so it does not slide out and stay there. The balloon is deflated when the catheter has to be removed.  

A leg bag or a bedside bag is attached to collect the urine via the catheter. The bedside or large bag is used during night time while sleeping so that the user does not get up and disrupt sleep, and the leg bag can be used during the day. The leg bag is attached to the thigh of the user with the help of leg straps. It gets hidden under the clothes and keeps you comfortable. The leg bag or the larger bag should be drained once it is full of urine. It is advisable to empty the catheter bag when it is three-quarters or 3/4th full to avoid overflowing urine. Due to its smaller size, the leg bag needs to be emptied more frequently than the larger bag. 

How to empty a foley catheter bag? 

Below is a step-by-step process for emptying a catheter bag –  

  1. Start by washing your hands properly with water and soap to avoid infecting the catheter bag; 
  2. Locate the drainage tube at the end of the catheter tube and hold it straight so that all the urine drains into the catheter bag; 
  3. Go to the bathroom and hold the catheter bag over the toilet. It will be easier to empty the catheter bag; 
  4. Remove the stopper or unlock the clamp at the end of the catheter
  5. If it is a foley catheter with a leg bag, open the valve to drain the urine and then close it; 
  6. Wash your hands again with water and soap to avoid any infection; 
  7. After washing your hands, clean the tip of the drainage bag with an alcohol wipe and wash your hands again. 

Make sure to clean your skin around the urethral area with a wipe or a washcloth. 

When should you call your healthcare provider? 

After completing the process as mentioned above, you should call your healthcare provider if: 

  1. The urine is cloudy and foul-smelling 
  2. The urine is bloody 
  3. Catheter falls out 
  4. Pain or burning sensation or redness around the urethral area, bladder, or lower back 
  5. Urine leaks from the point of entrance of the catheter 
  6. You have fever 
  7. You have not urinated for some hours 

Where to buy a catheter bag? 

HPFY hosts a wide range of leg and bedside drainage bags from many top manufacturers. Here are the top 3 drainage bags: 

1. Bard Dispoz-A-Bag Leg Bags with Flip Flo Valve And Fabric Straps

The Bard Dispoz-A-Bag Leg Bag is ideal for less mobile people who have undergone surgery, suffer from urinary incontinence, or use a wheelchair. This leak-resistant drainage bag has a flip-flo drainage valve to drain the urine and an anti-reflux valve to prevent urine backflow. It helps keep the surroundings fresh by reducing odor. It is lightweight, comfortable to wear, reusable, and minimizes skin irritation. 

2. Hollister Urinary Drainage Bag

The Hollister Urinary Drainage Bag collects urine, keeps a low profile, and allows the user to move freely. It has been designed to be discreet. Low-profile buttons are created on the leg bag to avoid any pressure while attaching the bag to the straps. This leg bag for foley catheters also features an anti-reflux valve to prevent the backflow of urine and an easy-to-operate drain valve. The design also includes pleated sides to increase the volume of the bag. 

3. Rusch EasyTap Leg Bag with Flip Drain Valve and Strap

The Rusch EasyTap Leg bag with Flip Drain Valve and Strap is one leg bag that comes with adjustable leg straps to attach the bag to the thigh. The straps have reinforced buttons for convenient locking. It is made of soft, breathable material to reduce the risk of irritation. It has smooth round edges and volume markings for readability. This catheter leg bag has an anti-reflux valve to prevent urine backflow and a flip drain valve for emptying the bag easily.  

Bard Dispoz-A-Bag Leg Bags With Flip Flo Valve And Fabric Straps


Hollister Urinary Leg Bag


Rusch EasyTap Leg Bag With Flip Drain Valve And Strap



Be cautious when you have a catheter inserted in your bladder. Ensure the connecting tube does not get entangled, and check if the urine flows without any obstacles. Avoid any activity that involves intense body movement. If you have a leg bag attached, ensure to empty the leg bag for the foley catheter when it is 3/4th full. If you must go out, empty your leg bag even if it is half full. This will save from overflowing of the bag. If there is any discrepancy, contact your healthcare provider immediately.  


Disclaimer: All content found on our website, including images, videos, infographics, and text were created solely for informational purposes. Our reviewed content should never be used for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Content shared on our websites is not meant to be used as a substitute for advice from a certified medical professional. Reliance on the information provided on our website as a basis for patient treatment is solely at your own risk. We urge all our customers to always consult a physician or a certified medical professional before trying or using a new medical product.


HPFY Akanksha Nigam

Akanksha Nigam

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Akanksha Nigam has been a Health Products For You contributor since 2021. With a Masters Degree in Finance, she began her Marketing career in the banking industry. However, her interest in human ...

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