What is a urethral catheter
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A urethral catheter is used to drain urine from the bladder. A catheter is inserted via the urethra into the bladder. The catheter is held in place by a small balloon on the inside. It is often used to allow urine to be emptied from the bladder if this is a problem or after operations to urinary system as it allows it to rest while it is healing. Generally, the catheter will be inserted on TMBU or during the operation if that is needed.
The drainage system consists of the catheter (thin, plastic tube) and a collection bag. You will also need some tape and new collection bags. We will supply you with everything you need before you go home.
• The catheter will remain in place until the Surgeons advise it can be removed.
• Your baby can play with adult supervision, but no strenuous activity or boisterous play, which may cause damage to the catheter or the operation site.
• Make sure the catheter bag is secure to prevent pulling out the catheter.
• Keep the collection bag below waist level but off the floor.
• Keep the catheter as straight as possible – if it kinks, this will stop the urine flowing properly into the collecting bag.
• Ensure your baby feeds well – this will keep the urine flowing, reduce any discomfort and reduce the risk of an infection developing.
• Cleaning meatus around catheter – warm water soak over the tip of the penis and gently wash any debris away, dry and apply ointment if required.
Emptying the collection bag
You will need to empty the collection bag at least four times a day:
• Wash your hands
• Remove the end cap and open the valve at the bottom of the bag
• Empty the bag into a bowl
• Close the valve and replace end cap.
Changing the collection bag
You should do this daily, or if the bag becomes disconnected.
You will need: A new collecting bag
• Wash your hands
• Bend the catheter over to stop urine leaking
• Remove the bag from the catheter.
• Attach a new collecting bag
• Straighten the catheter
You should call the ward if:
• Your baby’s urine becomes infected Signs of infection include darker than usual, smelly or cloudy urine.
• Urine is not draining into the bag.
• Urine is leaking into your baby’s nappy rather than the collection bag.
• The catheter falls out.
Please telephone TMBU for advice, you may need to come to the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital to be seen.
01273 696955 Ext. 64377 / 63450
This leaflet is intended for patients receiving care in Brighton & Hove or Haywards Heath.
The information in this leaflet is for guidance purposes only and is in no way intended to replace professional clinical advice by a qualified practitioner.