Catheter Care for Caregivers
A urinary catheter is any tube placed in the body to drain and collect urine from the bladder. Catheterization is carried out for a number of reasons and can either be a temporary or permanent solution to a number of problems. Problems include physical disease and damage, psychological issues and a way to help to improve the quality of life to someone who is bed bound. Good regular catheter care involves good hygiene, observation, monitoring well-being and prevention of problems associated with catheterization.
General catheterization tips
Before you start tell the person what you are going to do and why. This is important for everyone, but especially if the person is confused, has memory problems as in Alzheimer's disease or dementia. If you can, assist the catheterized person with their hygiene, rather than doing it yourself. It is important to try to help the person / patient keep their skills rather than just take over for them. There are so many advantages but it can just take that bit longer.
Wash around the catheter entry site with soap and water twice each day. Clean the top several inches of the catheter too.
Always wash the site after a bowel movement.
Your doctor or health care provider should be contacted if you see any of the following signs and symptoms:
Complications can include urinary tract and kidney infections, blood infections (septicemia), urethral injury and skin breakdown. Some people can develop allergies or sensitivity to the latex used for catheters, these people should be changed to silicone or Teflon catheters.
If there is no urine draining, the catheter may be obstructed. Check for kinks and obvious obstruction. If you have been instructed on irrigation and catheter flushing proceed with this. If not, contact your health care provider immediately.