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A Foley catheter is a soft tube that remains in the bladder to constantly drain urine.
The Foley catheter is connected to a drainage system, or urine bag.
It is very important to take good care of the Foley catheter, tubing and drainage bag. They should be kept very clean. The bag should not drag on the floor.
If the bag should accidentally be cut or begin to leak for some reason, it must be changed. An opening anywhere along the entire system will allow bacteria (germs) to enter. If these would then reach your child's bladder, a urinary tract infection could result. It is not acceptable to place the drainage bag in a plastic bag if it leaks.
You need to clean the area where the catheter enters your child's body. Begin by washing your hands well. Take a warm, wet, soapy wash cloth and clean the catheter and the skin around it. This should be done in the morning and evening.
Take care so that you do not pull on the catheter. You may hold the catheter with one hand while washing with the other. If there is any crustiness on the catheter that does not come off with soap and water, you may use hydrogen peroxide on a cotton ball or two (or gauze pad) and wipe gently on the catheter. Do not wipe the skin with the hydrogen peroxide. Rinse the skin and catheter with plain water. Pat dry with a towel.
While you have the Foley catheter, you will need to give your child a sponge bath. Baths, showers and swimming are not allowed.
You may have either a large leg bag or a larger urine drainage bag attached to the tubing. If the leg bag is worn, it should be emptied at least every two to three hours, or when it becomes ⅔ full. The larger urine drainage bag must be emptied at least every eight hours, even if it is not full.
When emptying the bag, be careful not to touch the spout to the container into which it is being drained. Also, do not touch the spout with your hands.
If you will be changing drainage bags while at home, a nurse will demonstrate to you how this is done. You must wash your hands well. You should clean the tubing where it will be disconnected with alcohol or Betadine. Be careful not to touch the tubing where it fits together. Reconnect the bag. If you are going to reuse the bag you just switched from, the connection site must be covered with a sterile cap or gauze. The bag must be kept in a clean place.
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