Caring For Your Leg Bag
- The tubing from your leg bag should fit down to your calf with your leg slightly bent. If you have extra tubing, you may need to cut it. Your nurse will show you how to do this.
- Always wear the leg bag below your knee. This will help it drain.
- Place the leg bag on your calf using the Velcro® straps your nurse gave you. Use a leg strap to secure the tubing to your thigh.
- If the straps leave a mark on your leg, they are too tight. Loosen them. Leaving the straps too tight can decrease your blood flow and cause blood clots.
- Empty the leg bag into the toilet every 2 to 4 hours, as needed. You can do this through the spout at the bottom. Dont let the bag become completely full.
- Dont lie down for longer than 2 hours while youre wearing the leg bag.
How To Disconnect A Night Drainage Bag:
As with attaching a night bag, if someone is doing this for you, they must wear disposable gloves.
High standards of hygiene are essential at all times. You must wash your hands prior to handling your night drainage bag, see our 6 step handwashing guide here.
I Appropriate Urinary Catheter Use
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Purposes And Types Of Catheters
These types of catheters are common.
An indwelling catheter is left in the bladder. Urine drains constantly into a drainage bag. A balloon near the tip is inflated with sterile water after the catheter is inserted. The balloon prevents the catheter from slipping out of the bladder .
S For Cleaning Drainage Bags And Bottles
Drainage containers should be cleaned after each use to prepare for the next use.
- Mix 1 tablespoon bleach with ½ cup tap water
- ¼ cup vinegar to ¾ cups tap water
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Getting Ready For Bed
When your night drainage bag is connected and you are ready to go to bed, decide on which side of the bed you want the drainage bag to hang. Tape the drainage tubing to the thigh of the leg that will be next to the side of the bed where the bag will hang. Use hypoallergenic tape, which is available at most drug stores and supermarkets. Leave some slack in the line so you will not pull on the catheter when you move while sleeping.
When you get into bed, set up the drainage tubing so it does not kink or loop. Then hang the drainage bag by its hook from the side of the bed frame. Be sure to keep the drainage bag below the level of the bladder at all times, whether you are lying, sitting, or standing. Do not hang the bag from the headboard or footboard of the bed, or from a chair beside the bed.
Care Of Urinary Drainage & Leg Bags
There are a few tips that apply to night drainage and leg bags:
- Keep the collection bottle of bag below the level of the hip
- This promotes drainage of urine
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How To Care For Your Drainage Bags
Follow these directions to care for either your leg bag or your night drainage bag:
- After disconnecting the bag and replacing it with another, wash the used bag with soap and warm water. Then rinse with water.
- Disinfect the used bag with a mixture of white vinegar and water. Do not use yellow vinegar.
- > Mix 1 1/4 cups of white vinegar with 2 quarts of water.
- > Rinse the bag well with this solution to help reduce urine odor. Do not rinse the bag with water after using the vinegar solution.
- Wash your hands with soap and water.
- Special note: You may use both types of drainage bags for up to 1 month. After 1 month, you will need new bags. You can buy new bags at most home health care supply stores.
When To Call The Doctor
A urinary tract infection is the most common problem for people with an indwelling urinary catheter.
- Pain around your sides or lower back.
- Urine smells bad, or it is cloudy or a different color.
- Fever or chills.
- A burning sensation or pain in your bladder or pelvis.
- You do not feel like yourself. Feeling tired, achy, and have a hard time focusing.
- Are not sure how to attach, clean, or empty your leg bag
- Notice your bag is filling up quickly, or not at all
- Have a skin rash or sores
- Have any questions about your catheter bag
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Why A Urinary Catheter
The following are reasons your doctor may have asked that you have a urinary catheter:
- If your doctors and nurses need to know exactly how much urine you are putting out to provide appropriate care for you
- If you cannot completely empty your bladder when you urinate
- If urine often leaks from your bladder that you cannot control, and you also have signs of a bladder infection or your kidneys are not working well
- If you have open wounds or pressure sores around your genitals or buttocks that are frequently soiled with urine because you cannot control the flow of urine
- If you have a severe illness or disability that makes moving or changing your clothes very painful
There may be other reasons you have your urinary catheter. Please talk with your doctor about why you need your catheter.
Check And Clean The Catheter Tubing
Check the tubing. If there are kinks, cracks, clogs, or you cant see into the tubing, youll need to change to new tubing as you were shown by your healthcare provider.
If the current tubing can still be used, wash it with soap and water. Always wash the tubing in the direction away from your body. Don’t pull on the tubing.
Dry the tubing with a clean washcloth or paper towel.
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Important Things To Know
Make sure that the catheter is attached/secured to your leg. This will prevent pulling on the catheter. Make sure the catheter tube is not pulled too tight. Keep catheter tubing in an “S” curve from insertion site to securing device. Wearing underwear can also help keep catheter tube secure. Make sure the tubing is not twisted or kinked.
Keep the catheter and drainage bag below the bladder and off the floor. Keep the catheter and drainage bag connected to keep out germs unless your provider allows you to use a leg bag during the day. Do not lie flat if you have a leg bag attached. This could cause urine backflow which could lead to an infection in your catheter.
Keep the catheter and the insertion site clean. Urine may sometimes leak around the catheter. There is no reason for alarm unless the catheter is always leaking or there is little or no urine going into the drainage bag.
How Often Should You Clean Urinary Catheter Bag
How often should you clean urinary catheter bag? Ask your healthcare provider how often you should clean your bag and what solution you should use to reduce odor and keep your bag free of germs. Shake the solution a bit and allow it to remain in the bag for 30 minutes. Drain the solution and rinse the bag with cold tap water.
How do you empty a catheter leg bag? Empty your catheter leg bag using a valve. For a leg bag, turn the knob or valve at the bottom of the bag counter-clockwise to open it. Let the urine drain from the bag completely. Then, close the valve or knob by turning it back clockwise as far as it will go.
How often should I empty my drainage bag? Ensure your catheter tubing is not kinked , as this will block the flow of urine. Make sure your drainage bag is always lower than your bladder, as urine does not drain uphill. If using a leg bag, empty the bag every 2 or 3 hours to prevent the weight of the urine dragging on the catheter.
How often should you empty your leg bag? Empty your leg bag at regular intervals to avoid it becoming too full and heavy, which may pull on your catheter. This should occur every 2 to 3 hours or when the bag is about half to three-quarters full. Can you feel yourself pee with a catheter?
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How To Clean Your Catheter
Itâs best to clean your catheter twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. Youâll need:
- Clean washcloth
Then, you can follow these nine steps:
Ii Proper Techniques For Urinary Catheter Insertion
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Iv Quality Improvement Programs
Examples of programs that have been demonstrated to be effective include:
Iii Proper Techniques For Urinary Catheter Maintenance
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Preventing Infections And Other Complications
Having a long-term urinary catheter increases your risk of developing urinary tract infections and can also lead to other problems, such as blockages.
To minimise these risks you should:
- wash the skin in the area where the catheter enters your body with mild soap and water every day
- wash your hands with soap and warm water before and after touching your catheter equipment
- make sure you stay well hydrated you should aim to drink enough fluids so that your urine stays a pale colour
- avoid constipation staying hydrated can help with this, as can eating high-fibre foods, such as fruit and vegetables and wholegrain foods
- avoid having kinks or bends in the catheter and make sure any urine collection bags are always kept below the level of your bladder
Read more about the risks of urinary catheterisation.
Should I Use A Urinary Leg Bag Or Overnight Drainage Bag
What is the difference between the two? The biggest difference between an overnight drainage bag and a urinary leg bag is the over-all size of the product. The other important difference is that a leg bag is meant to be worn and an overnight bag is meant to hang next to your bed while you are sleeping or resting. A leg bag is designed to be worn on your leg while you are moving and going about your day. The leg bag has straps that go around your thigh or calf, these straps hold the leg bag in place. You can easily wear pants over your leg bag and some leg bags are designed so they can be worn with shorts. When your leg bag is 3/4 of the way full, it will need to be emptied. Most leg bags hold between 19 and 32 ounces. Overnight drainage bags hold between 2000 ml and 4000 ml. What this means is, by switching to an overnight drainage bag you will be able to sleep through the night without you or your caregiver having to get up to empty a leg bag.
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Importance Of Drainage Bag Care
For those who may be adjusting to using urinary incontinence products such as a catheter system, one of the greatest challenges can be proper, hygienic use, and care of your medical devices. If catheter users do not practice proper catheter care and hygiene, they can be at a higher risk of developing urinary tract infections as well as other complications.
One of the most integral parts of a catheter system that requires frequent care and maintenance is the urine drainage bag and drainage system. Drainage bag care can be very simple, but it is essential to the overall health and well-being of the catheter system and its user.
How To Switch From A Urinary Leg Bag To An Overnight Catheter Bag
- Put on disposable exam gloves .
- Empty the leg bag, be careful not to open the drainage valve until you are over the toilet.
- Remove the leg bag from the catheter if it is connected directly to the Foley catheter or remove it from the extension tubing if that is what you are using to connect the the catheter to the leg bag.
- Do not contaminate the Foley catheter by letting it touch the floor or any area that is non-sterile! For extra security, use a disposable underpad to give yourself a clean work surface.
- Before attaching the Foley catheter to the overnight drainage bag you should wipe the end of the catheter with an alcohol prep pad to sanitize the area, also wipe the tubing connector with the prep pad too.
- Once the Foley catheter connection is sterilized, attach it to the overnight drainage bag’s tubing connector and place the bag in a water-proof bin or hang it from the lower part of the bed.
*These are instructions for people who are using Foley catheters. For external catheter users, the instructions are the same but you will not need to sterilize the catheter tubing or the top of the external catheter before switching to the overnight drainage bag. The added sterilization for Foley catheters is a precaution because using Foley catheters can put you at risk for urinary tract infections. It never hurts to be cautious and sometimes the small steps we take can help us avoid big problems. Make sure you consult your doctor before changing your healthcare routine.
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