Foley Catheter Irrigation Instructions - How to
This is how to irrigate a catheter
A Foley catheter is a flexible tube that is inserted through the urethra to drain the urine from the bladder. Catheter irrigation is performed by a healthcare professional or a trained caregiver, and sometimes by the patient for different reasons, such as to clear clots from the catheter tubing or to flush blood from the bladder following a medical procedure. A catheter irrigation tray that includes a solution container and a catheter tip syringe is needed to perform this procedure. The catheter tip syringe may have a bulb or a plunger on one end. Doing so increases the opportunity to introduce bacteria into the bladder thus increasing the risk for urinary tact infection, so it should only be performed after receiving a physician's order. Physician's orders should be precise as to frequency and solution to be used.
Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Pair of gloves, sterile if available
Catheter irrigation kit with catheter tip syringe
Sterile normal saline or solution ordered by physicain
Towel or drape
Catheter tip syringe
You will need to get these items from your healthcare provider or home health provider.
Wash your hands with soap and tap water, then dry well. Put on the gloves.
Open the catheter irrigation kit. Fill the enclosed catheter tip syringe with the ordered amount of sterile normal saline or the irrigation solution preferred by the physician, and place it back in the kit.
Place a towel or drape beneath the connection of the Foley catheter tubing and the drainage bag tubing.
Clean the site where the catheter tubing and drainage bag tubing connect with an alcohol swab. Allow to air dry.
Grasp the Foley catheter tubing with one hand where it meets the drainage bag tubing. Grasp the drainage bag tubing in the other hand. Gently pull the two tubes apart.
Place a catheter plug in the opened end of the drainage bag tubing, and set aside.
Insert an empty catheter tip syringe into the end of the Foley catheter tubing and pull back on the plunger, or squeeze and release the bulb, to see if any urine is in the bladder. Drain the urine, then remove the syringe.
Insert the catheter tip of the syringe filled with irrigation solution into the open end of the Foley catheter tubing. Slowly and gently squeeze the fluid into the catheter.
Pull back on the plunger, or let go of the bulb, so the fluid re-enters the catheter tip syringe.
Cleanse the connection site of the syringe and catheter tubing with a second alcohol swab. Allow to air dry.
Remove the catheter plug from the drainage bag, and cleanse the open tip of the tubing with a third alcohol swab. Allow to air dry.
Pinch the catheter tubing about an inch from the end of the Foley catheter, and carefully pull to remove the catheter tip syringe.
Reconnect the Foley catheter tubing and the drainage bag tubing.
Wash your hands with tap water and soap.
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© 2011 Cynthia