The Foley catheter is an indwelling catheter in your bladder. This small tube drains urine into a bag you wear on the thigh or belly. Foley catheters are used for urinary retention issues, incontinence, post-surgery recovery and other health problems. Caring for a Foley catheter is key to maintaining your health.
It’s important to make sure your catheter is working correctly each day. You must keep the tube and area where it’s attached to your body very clean to prevent irritation and infection. Limit your activities for up to two weeks after placement.
Follow these steps daily or more frequently, if necessary:
- Wash your hands before you begin, cleaning between fingers and underneath fingernails.
- Prepare a clean washcloth by wetting it with warm water and soap.
- Wash the area gently, with women wiping from front toward the back. Men should wipe from the top of the penis downward.
- Rinse the washcloth completely.
- Add more soap, and slowly wash the upper-leg area and buttocks.
- Rinse and dry with a clean towel.
- To avoid irritation, don’t use any cream, powder or spray in the area you’ve cleaned.
Cleaning and caring for a Foley catheter
Avoid infection by following these steps twice a day:
- Wash your hands with soap and water, as above.
- Pour clean warm water into a container or sink.
- Wet a clean washcloth with soap and warm water.
- Grasp the Foley catheter, and wash the end close to the vagina or penis. Continue cleaning as you move away from your body, down the catheter.
- Dry the tube with another clean towel.
- Attach your catheter to the inner thigh (women) or your belly (men).
Another important part of caring for a Foley catheter is testing. Test the Foley catheter tube a few times daily. Keeping the bag below your waist, look for kinks. If the tube is not draining correctly, move it around a bit. Don’t disconnect your tubing more than necessary. Remember to drink lots of water throughout the day.
Call your doctor immediately:
- If you have pain or an increase in urine near the catheter
- If you see blood or stones or notice a bad smell, a color change or a blockage
- If you have a burning sensation during urination, a high temperature or chills, which may mean infection
Whenever you need more Foley catheter supplies or have questions about the products, call the experts at Mar-J Medical Supply. Visit our website or our retail location in Boca Raton.
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