h. Teach the patient to maintain the catheter. Self-care helps the patient
develop a feeling of independence and promotes cleanliness. If the patient is
ambulatory, instruct him in use of the leg bag. Encourage the patient to intake 2500cc
to 3000 cc of fluid daily.
Change the indwelling catheter as necessary or in accordance with local
IRRIGATING AN INDWELLING CATHETER
The purpose of irrigating a catheter is to remove particles that are interfering with
the drainage of urine. A catheter that drains well does not need irrigating, except to
instill medication. If the patient has a generous fluid intake (2500 cc to 3000 cc of fluid
daily), the increase in urine production will dilute the particles that form and irrigate the
catheter naturally; thus, invasive procedures may be avoided. Because the drainage
system is opened when irrigation takes place, sterile technique is followed.
a. Gather sterile supplies and equipment:
Gauze moistened with antiseptic.
Sterile normal saline (or other irrigation solution).
b. Using gauze moistened with antiseptic solution, wipe the area where the
catheter and tubing join.
NOTE: Some catheters have a self-sealing port with a separate lumen through which
irrigation solution may be instilled (see figure 3-9). This allows irrigation without
separation of the catheter from the collecting device and reduces the possibility of