Lower your Possibilities for Complications

suprapubic catheter careSuprapubic catheters are used in patients who have trouble emptying their bladder naturally. It is inserted into the bladder through the abdominal wall just above the pubic area. Now, this is a very common procedure that is performed daily by physicians all over the world, things do happen. The majority of incidents reported in catheter patients come from post-operative care, or actual neglect of care.

With this being said it is very important to learn the proper ways to care for your catheter and accessories that go along with it.

The Drainage Bag

Your drainage bag is one of the most important parts of your catheter. It contains the tube that runs from your bladder to the actual bag that holds the urine. You need to ensure you practice proper care techniques with handling and taking care of your drainage bag.

Proper Hygiene and Cleaning Etiquette – Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly before handling any part of your drainage bag or catheter tube. Remember germs can travel and these tubes run directly inside your body, so it can be very bad if germs were to travel up the tube and into your bladder.

Proper Bag Placement – In this case you need to think of gravity as your best friend. Make sure you keep the bag below your waist at all times and keep the line straight and ensure that it doesn’t kink or get twisted up. This is important as if you don’t keep the bag low enough or if the tube is kinked passed urine can back up into your bladder, this can cause serious infections for the patient.

Keep the Drainage Bag Empty – Not only do you run the risk of having urine back up into your bladder and causing an infection with a full drainage bag, but full bags are heavy. A heavy bag can be very dangerous as it will also run the risk of pulling the catheter out of your bladder or damaging the stoma into your bladder. This can cause a great deal of pain and will result in having to undergo another procedure to reinsert the catheter.

The Stoma

Your Stoma is the hole in your abdominal wall and your bladder in which the catheter is inserted. Many of the incidents that arise with catheter patients arise from not taking proper care of their stoma as directed by the doctor.

Be Prepared – Many times a patient prepares to clean their stoma as they are supposed to, however they don’t have the proper items that are required. Make sure you have the following items ready before starting the cleaning process: (Warm Soapy Water, Sterile Bandage, Towel, Latex or Medical Gloves, and a Trash Can)

Clean the Site (CAREFULLY) – Make sure your gloves you use to clean the site are clean (in case you used the gloves when removing the bandage). Clean the area around the stoma as directed by your health care professional. Now, the MOST IMPORTANT thing to remember is while cleaning the stoma, make sure you hold the catheter with one hand to keep it secured in place, and ensure it doesn’t come out or move when cleaning.

Proper care and maintenance of your catheter may seem like a bit of work in the beginning but you will quickly develop your own techniques which will make the process go a lot smoother and quicker. Also remember that poor maintenance and lack of care is the main reason complications arise with catheters and those who take care of them normally see little to no problems with them.

For more information on suprapubic catheters, visit www.suprapubiccatheter.org