Foley Catheter Care – How To Do It at Home?
A catheter is used for conditions when you cannot properly urinate on your own, or when you have bladder control problems, and it is used to drain the bladder so that you do not have further complications. In some cases it may also be used to treat urinary retention or urge incontinence. There are many different types of catheters for men and women and your doctor will determine which one is best for you depending on your condition. A catheter is inserted through the urethra to the bladder, normally by your health care provider and once inside, inflation of a small balloon occurs that keeps it in place. There are different Foley catheter sizes, and which one is right for you will be determined by your health care provider.
Caring for you catheter at home requires diligence and following specific guidelines to minimize the risk of potential problems resulting from being catheterized. One of the most important guidelines for Foley catheter care that you must remember when handling your catheter is to wash your hands before and after handling to minimize the risk of contamination and infection. Additionally, it’s important to keep the bag that your urine collects in below the point in your body where the bladder is. This important rule of Foley catheter care will ensure that gravity doesn’t work against you and send your urine back to its point of origin. You will want to keep the area around the catheter clean and a gentle cleansing twice per day with soap and water is a basic essential of home Foley catheter care. You cannot have sexual intercourse while equipped with a foley catheter because doing so can cause complications.
Another important component to proper home Foley catheter care is to know what to look for as signs of infection, inflammation or malfunction that would require medical intervention. This will mean you will need to thoroughly check your catheter throughout the day to ensure that it is clean and functioning properly. If you see redness, swelling or pus, you will need to call your health care provider right away. You should also consult your doctor if you do not think that enough urine is flowing into the collection bag. If you notice that your urine is bloody or changes in appearance in other ways, consult with your doctor. These conditions are not suitably remedied by home Foley catheter care and you will need your doctor’s direction.
By keeping the areas clean and dry and following the guidelines given to you by your doctor, home care of a Foley catheter can be easy. Minimizing the risk of inflammation and infection are some of the most important aspects of managing your condition at home.