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July 16, 2018

10 Tips for Living with a Long-Term Catheter

Wondering how to safely live with a long-term catheter? We've got 10 important tips to share.

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Ten Tips for Living with a Catheter

Home / Living with Diabetes / 10 Tips for Living with a Long-Term Catheter

Living with a long-term catheter is necessary for many patients. Here we take you through 10 tips that long-term catheter users should understand to mitigate health risks, such as UTIs and blockages.

1. Blockages

Catheter blockages can be a serious issue for catheter users if the tubing bends or folds restricting the flow of fluids.  Adjust the tubing and gently pinch it to allow for the passage of the blocked materials such as blood in the urine.

Size counts when pertaining to catheters, so larger and wider catheters may actually reduce flow since they promote bladder spasms, constricting the flow of urine. Try using the smallest size of catheter possible unless specifically instructed otherwise (if blood in the urine is present or if you contract an infection for example).

2. Leaks

Urine may leak around the area of catheter insertion, this can typically be due to some form of blockage.

Watch for faulty urine drainage bags and always carry a spare for just such occasions.  Leakage can happen if there are loose connections between catheter and drainage bag, so make sure to check integrity of all connections.

Be careful not to overfill urine bags causing them to burst.  These urine bags can carry up to a liter so emptying the bag often can help avoid such a leak.

3. Changing

4. Infections

It has been proven that long-term catheter users are 7 times more likely to contract a urinary tract infection.  Symptoms may include fever, foul smelling and cloudy urine (sometimes bloody), as well as pain at the catheter insertion site.

Otherwise instructed not to do so by your doctor, drinking plenty of water helps reduce infections by quickly flushing bacteria out of the body.

5. Discretion

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