Urinary catheters have been used for more than 3,500 years to help the bladder drain when it is unable to empty on its own. Many people currently use catheters for a wide range of reasons. It’s understandable to feel slightly overwhelmed when beginning to use a catheter of your own. However, following a few simple tips will help ensure you don’t run into any major problems while using this device. With that in mind, here are four tips to follow when beginning to use a catheter.
- Drink Enough Water
It’s important to always ensure that you are thoroughly hydrated. That being said, those wearing catheters also need to ensure they are drinking enough water. Without drinking enough water, those wearing these devices at higher risks of developing urinary tract infections.
- Keep Catheter Properly Secured
Many people utilizing catheters keep securement devices on hand. These devices help keep the catheter setup safely secured. It’s important to secure a catheter to reduce the possibility of it removing itself from the body. You’ll want to place one of these securement devices on your thigh. In addition, it’s important to ensure that you don’t directly lay on your catheter in a manner that creates a blockage of urine.
- Carry Backup Catheter Supplies
You’ll never know when you will misplace an important piece that contributes to your catheter. Therefore, it’s wise to ensure that spare bags, securement devices, and other catheter equipment always remains nearby. You’ll find that having a spare bag of catheter supplies is a discreet and smart way to ensure you avoid any potentially stressful situations from not having the proper medical supplies on hand.
- Consider Utilizing a Leg Strap
Many people that wear catheters utilize a leg bag. This bag is made to hold urine without the risk of making a mess. It’s important to ensure that you empty this bag either when it is half full or two times per day. You’ll find it’s wise to ensure that your bag is cleaned regularly. Experts recommend using a mixture of three parts water with one part vinegar for effective bag cleaning. You’ll want to soak your bag for about 20 minutes in this mixture.
To summarize, there are several important tips to follow while using a catheter. You’ll want to ensure that you’re drinking enough water while using a catheter to prevent the risk of developing a urinary tract infection. Securement devices are wise to utilize as these items help keep catheters safely secured. You’ll want to ensure that you always carry back up catheter supplies, especially in the event that you are away from home. Many people who wear a catheter utilize leg straps for urine collection. It’s important to ensure that these bags are washed and emptied in a regular manner.