A urinary catheter is a flexible plastic tube used to drain urine
from your bladder when you can't urinate on your own. The catheter allows
urine to drain from the bladder into a bag.
Two types of drainage bags may be used with a urinary catheter.
Having a urinary catheter increases your risk of getting a urinary tract infection. Germs may get on the catheter and cause an infection in your bladder or kidneys. The longer you have a catheter, the more likely it is that you will get an infection. You can help prevent this problem with good hygiene and careful handling of your catheter and drainage bags.
Take care to be clean
Be careful with your drainage bag
Be careful with your catheter
If your doctor has asked you to keep a record, write down the amount of urine in the bag before you empty it.
Wash your hands before and after you touch the bag.
Wash your hands before and after you handle the bags.
Clean your bags every day. Many people clean their bedside bag in the morning when they switch to a leg bag. At night, they attach the bedside bag and clean the leg bag.
To clean a drainage bag:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to
contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all
appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good
idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter C910 in the search box to learn more about "Learning About Urinary Catheter Care to Prevent Infection."
Current as of:
August 12, 2016
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
& Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
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